HC Deb 05 May 1862 vol 166 cc1204-77

Order for Committee read.

House in Committee.


Sir, I have to discharge a duty which to my mind is in some respects a very agreeable one, and in other respects a painful one. I have to discharge what is an agreeable duty, because I hope the Committee will now see its way to the termination of that controversy on education which I could have wished had never arisen. I have to discharge a duty in some respects painful, because, whatever may be the arrangements made with reference to this question, I believe it cannot be otherwise than that some persons, for whom I entertain a sincere respect, will still feel disappointment. I think it is right that we should revert for a moment to the time when the Government made an announcement before the Easter recess as to the mode in which they proposed to meet the objections which had been raised in this House and the country against the Revised Code. The Vice President of the Committee of Council, in a most frank and I need not say able manner, announced to us on the part of the Government the modifications in the Code which they were prepared to submit to Parliament. Those modifications were most important in their character—very extensive in their bearing on the question, and I must add, largely conciliatory in the tone and temper in which they were announced to the House. Well, Sir, when a great controversy has arisen on a question of this kind or of any kind in this House, and when the Government comes forward with a frank and hearty desire to meet the objections that were, I hope, temperately raised, it would I think ill become any opponent of the measure, or of the Government, to decline to meet that Government in the same temper and in the same spirit with which they have endeavoured to meet the Opposition. That being so, I wish to point out to the Committee the reasons which have brought me to the conclusion that it is right and wise for Parliament to accept the Revised Code as now amended, even although I may entertain, nay, I may say that I do entertain some doubts as to the working of that Code in some particulars to which I shall advert. And in taking that course I believe I shall be taking a course the most fair towards the Government if I intimate the points on which I agree with them, and also the points on which I still object.

Now, I wish the Committee to bear in mind that when the Revised Code was first proposed and announced to the country the form in which it was drawn was materially different from that in which it now stands. The object of that Code has been explained more than once in this House. The principal objects were, first, to simplify the cumbersome, the complicated, and expensive machinery by which the grant for education was administered; and, secondly, to test the results of the education given, in some manner which would show the House that it was warranted in making this grant for a great public purpose. Now, Sir, I have said all along that in these objects I entirely concur, and the only point—the more material point, in fact, in which I took the liberty of differing from the Government was, not as to the objects themselves, but as to the mode in which those objects were sought to be accomplished. The Committee will bear in mind that when the proposal was first made it was made in this manner. The training colleges, as far as aid from the state was concerned, wire virtually at an end. The certificated masters had lost the security which they possessed before of being the paid servants of the Government. The pupil-teacher system was materially imperilled, at least in my opinion, and with regard to those pupil-teachers who are now serving their apprenticeship, there was injustice done to the masters and mistresses, who were entitled to gratuities for instruction. So much for the machinery. The mode in which education—the advantages of education.—the results of education, were proposed to be tested were these. All grants, with the exception of building grants, were turned into one uniform capitation grant. That uniform capitation grant was made to depend on a single examination on a given day in three elementary subjects. The consequence was that great difficulty, not to say great inconvenience, must necessarily have arisen in making the grant so depend on that examination. The examination was to extend to the merest infants, beginning at those of three years of ago and limited to eleven years of age, and the grant was not to be given to those who went beyond it. The children were grouped according to age, contrary to the custom of every school in the kingdom, and it was assumed that, in point of fact, the proficiency of the child ought to be taken in proportion to its age. I need not say that such a system must, in my humble judgment, have entirely failed of the object for which it was established. But the more important and material provision to which I objected was this, that in every test of the result of the education you would not have tested the result fairly. You would not test the education throughout the schools; you would not test that which the Commissioners considered a most important part—namely, the discipline, meaning by that the moral and religious training which the children had gone through. And in addition to that, by testing results in that particular form and mode all the children who had left the school before the day of examination would have received nothing, and all the children who were unable to attend on the day of examination would also be excluded from any portion of the grant. Well, Sir, the last objection raised to the Code in that form may be summed up in these few words—that as regards the managers of the schools, who have done so much for education, everything was left in a precarious, contingent, and uncertain state as to the payments on which they could depend, while, on the other hand, everything with regard to the obligations imposed on them was made to be as stringent, as fixed, as determinate, and, I might say, oppressive, as it well could have been. Now, such was the Code as proposed. Objections were raised to it throughout the country, and how has the Government met those objections? Voluntarily, in the first instance, my right hon. Friend came forward, and said that the training colleges were to be to a great extent continued. He came forward, and said that the examination of infants under six years would not be required. He came forward and said, just before the Easter recess, in answer to a proposition that had been made in this House, or was about to be made in this House, that the certificated teachers would have a primary lien on the fund for their salaries; that the pupil-teachers would be continued as they are with a claim on the Government if the funds should prove insufficient to pay them during their apprenticeship; that the examination in future should not be confined in the way originally proposed to those three subjects—reading, writing, and arithmetic, as the only qualification for obtaining any portion of the grant; that the system of grouping by age should cease, and that the limit of eleven years as the Code proposed should virtually be altered to twelve. I think I have now stated the effect of the alterations which have been made in the Code, and it will thereby appear that in almost every objection urged against the Code as then stated it was materially modified. That being so, the question is, in what way one ought individually to deal with the matter as it at present stands. Now, if any hon. Gentleman will have the goodness just to turn to the Resolutions as I was going to propose them, he will find that the Government have virtually acquiesced in point of principle in almost every one of those Resolutions, and I am extremely thankful to the Government for doing so. My first Resolution was— That where it is proposed to give Government aid to elementary schools, it is inexpedient that the whole amount of such aid should depend on the individual examination of each child in reading, writing, and arithmetic. The proposition now is that it shall not so depend, but that a proportion of the grant —namely, 4s., shall be given on inspection, and 8s. on examination. The second Resolution was— That the system of grouping by age for the purpose of examination would be unequal in its operation, and an inadequate test of the work done in the school, and specially disadvantageous for those children whose early education has been neglected. My right hon. Friend now proposes an entirely new system of classification on which the children are to be examined. They are to be examined not in groups according to age, but in six classes. It is a great improvement, as it will enable managers to classify scholars in a manner best suited to the proficiency made by the children in the school, and I think, therefore, it will give considerable satisfaction. My third Resolution was, that the provisions of the Revised Code, in the points referred to in the foregoing Resolutions would, if un amended, increase the difficulty of extending the benefits of the Government grants to poor and neglected districts. Now, in the view I took of the case, that to a certain extent has been considerably improved; for in the poor and neglected districts where the children are advanced they will now receive something for the general good conduct and discipline of the school, and also by not grouping them according to age they will be entitled to receive, according to that classification, such a remuneration as the proficiency may deserve. The next Resolution was— That the refusal of any portion of the Parliamentary grants, on account of any children who have once passed in the highest class of examination, is likely to have an injurious effect, as tending to aggravate the acknowledged evil of the withdrawal of children from elementary schools at an early age. The effect of the old classification would have been that virtually no manager could have claimed anything on account of the children who had passed the age of eleven years; but now by those six classes they will, in point of fact, be entitled to receive a proportionate sum up to twelve years of age. With regard to my sixth Resolution, I will say a few words presently; but as to the three next Resolutions, which relate to pupil-teachers, the injustice of which I had to complain has been done away with to a certain extent. The last two Resolutions setting forth the power of this House over any alteration in the Code, have been completely recognised. That being so, and the propositions which I and those who concurred with me thought it prudent to press upon the Government having been acceded to, I have to ask myself whether the Code as it now stands is so objectionable that we ought to persevere in this controversy and try to obtain more from the Government than had been already conceded. Upon that point I feel strongly. When the Government have met the objections that were fairly raised in a frank and temperate spirit, it would be—I will use a strong word in reference to myself— it would be churlish and ungenerous to refuse to accept their propositions. The only question that weighs upon my mind is the painful one of the various objections that have been urged upon me from various quarters during the Easter recess. I will briefly state what these objections are, and see how far they ought to be pressed on the Government. The first objection raised against the Code as it at present stands is this—that the system will, in fact, be worse than the system it supersedes at present. Now, if that be so, it raises an objection to the whole Code; and if I had entertained that objection at all, it ought to have been entertained and announced at the commencement of this discussion. Instead, however, of entertaining that objection, I have always said that I agreed with the objects of the Code, and differed only as to the mode in which these objects were to be accomplished; and I think that I cannot go back to another position, and say that the Code ought to be rejected now, unless I had said it ought to have been rejected before.

The second objection is one raised by the certificated masters. No doubt my right hon. Friend has received, as I have received, a great many letters from certificated masters in different schools—not confined to Church of England schools, and therefore I am not speaking for the Church of England only—but the objections were raised by certificated masters of the British and Foreign schools, Wesleyan schools, and other schools not belonging to the Church of England, as well as of the Church of England, who feel themselves aggrieved by having been made, through the regulation of the Privy Council, paid servants of the State, and who find themselves now handed over to different masters—namely, the managers of the schools, They think, and possibly with some reason, that there is not the same security for their salaries as that which they have hitherto had, and they conceive that since the Government has entered into relations with them which gave them a better security than they think they have now, they are not fairly treated in the alterations which the Government have made. Now, I feel for them to a great extent if these consequences should really ensue, for they put it in the strongest possible point of view, when they tell me, as I have no doubt they have told many other Members in this House, that they have entered into all kinds of arrangements on the faith of this grant being continued to them. Marriages have been contracted on the faith of a continuance of such grant, and insurances have been effected on their lives; and they apprehend that a diminution of the fund will be the consequence of the Code, and that will compel them to forego the means of making provision for their families. Now, Sir, I think myself, until the certificated masters had a primary lien on the funds to be given by the State, these objections were very strong; but since the Primary lien was given to them on the funds so administered by the State, I think the objection is rather an objection which the managers should entertain than an objection which the certificated masters can at present fairly and fully urge. What I mean by that is, I think the managers will have a greater trial in providing payment for those masters than they have been put to hitherto; but I think at the same time, since certificated masters have got a primary lien on the grant coming from the State, they are not the persons who will be the sufferers. At all events, if they are the sufferers, I think we ought to ascertain that to be the fact by experiment and trial of the now Code before hastily adopting any of their conclusions, and that we should be content until we see that the apprehended evil really does arise.

The third objection to the Code has come from many persons who think that 4s. given upon inspection and the 8s. upon examination will place the schools in a worse condition than they are in at present. Well, in some instances, I believe that will be the case; but I do not think it will be the case in a great many instances. And when I remember that there are some 15,000 unassisted schools which receive nothing, and that there are about 10,000 schools which receive this grant from the State, I do not think they have any just ground for complaint if they are entitled for every child to receive 4s. on inspection, which will be £20 for every hundred for the children in attendance at the school, and perhaps £30 or £40 a year more dependent on the examination which those children will have to undergo. At all events, I feel doubtful whether anybody can press on the Government to raise that sum while the experiment is being tried, although I own I could have wished it had begun at a somewhat higher figure. I should have preferred to have it commence with 5s. upon inspection and 10s. upon examination, or 6s. upon inspection in every case and 9s. upon examination. But upon this point I think the Committee will do well to consider the point I am now about to submit to their notice. At one time I had thought of pressing a Resolution to raise the sums to be paid on inspection and examination; but when I come to consider the only mode in which this House can deal safely and properly with a question of expenditure—that is to say, by throwing the onus of proposing that expenditure entirely on the Government instead of taking it upon themselves—I believe it would be a reversal of the constitutional practice if the House were by a Resolution to attempt to make an addition to the taxation of the country which the Government say is not required. If the plan of the Government fail, with them must rest the responsibility. It cannot rest with this House, for the House should only exercise a controlling power over the expenditure proposed by the Government, and ought not to be made the body with which that expenditure originates. For this reason, and for this reason only, I do not press on the Government in the shape of a Resolution what I do press on them in the shape of a suggestion and of argument—namely, that while we are passing from one state to another, it will be advisable to make the transition as easy as possible. I should be very glad, therefore, if the Government would think it not inconsistent with their duty to allow, for two years at any rate, a somewhat higher payment after inspection and examination than that which they have proposed.

The next point on which objections have been raised is the arrangement proposed in the Code with regard to evening schools. I gave notice of a Resolution upon that subject, but it was confined simply to this point, that after certificated masters had been hard at work all day in school, it would not be reasonable to expect from them the additional labour which would be thrown upon them by having to attend an evening school without giving them any additional payment. I feel that strongly, and I think that that is a portion of the present scheme which you will have to alter. There is another objection made in reference to these evening schools, which I feel pretty confident that the Privy Council will find it necessary to meet by some change in the system before many years have passed over our heads. They require an examination in those evening schools just as they require it in the schools for children. Now, the evening schools are composed of men, who are anxious to supply the deficiencies of a neglected education, but who would not like their attempts to accomplish that object to be paraded be fore the world, and who would, I am persuaded, shrink from going to those school if you were to require that they should undergo an examination. That is a portion of the plan which I would earnestly entreat my right hon. Friend to reconsider.

The next objection made to the scheme, which has been pressed upon me, relates to the pupil-teachers; and those who put forward that objection say that the pupil-teacher system, which everybody admits to be a good one, will be again turned into a monitorial system unless you ensure a continuance of that amount of instruction which has brought the pupil-teacher up to that standard of efficiency which he has attained. It is urged—and urged, I think, with great force—that so long as the pupil-teachers were apprenticed for five years there was some guarantee that they would be brought up to the proper standard; but that if you turn those articles of apprenticeship which were to last for five years into articles of agreement which can be terminated on six months' notice, you will have no such security for raising those pupil-teachers up to the level of instruction at which they ought to arrive. There are two ways in which, as it is suggested, the Government might meet this objection. They might either continue the articles of apprenticeship, or they might require, that if the system of articles of agreement were adopted, those articles should not terminate until after twelve months' notice. I believe that under the latter arrangement a great portion of the difficulty would be obviated.

The last objection pressed on me is that you make no adequate provision for the neglected districts; and I believe that is really the strongest objection of all. According to the report of the Commissioners the matter stands thus:—There are in the neglected districts about 120,000 children who receive no education at all. The proposal of the Government to meet that evil is the introduction of a new class of teachers, who are called the fourth class of masters and mistresses. In some cases that kind of masters, at any rate, may enable people in the poorer districts to establish schools, and to impart some sort of beneficial education. I doubt, however, whether a master of the age of between eighteen and twenty-five, which is the age set forth in the Code, would be always competent to manage these schools. But whether or not such a master would possess that fitness, I feel still more inclined to think, that if you lay down the same limitation as to age in the case of mistresses, you will be placing in those situations persons exposed to all kinds of temptations, and unfit for the most part to discharge the duties with which they are to be intrusted. I cannot, indeed, entertain any absolute certainty upon this point; but of this I am sure, that the want which, of all wants, is most felt at this moment is, the establishment of schools where at present there are no schools; and yet there is nothing in the Revised Code which gives encouragement to these institutions. I have thought it fair to the House, to the Government, and to those persons throughout the country for whose opinions I entertain the sincerest respect, but who, I know, do not quite approve of the course I am taking this evening—I have thought it due to them to state in the plainest manner I could the exact views which I take of the present position of the education question, of the advantages which I believe we shall derive from the mode in which the Government have altered the Code, and of the difficulties which I apprehend will still be found in the proper working of that system. Having performed that duty, I have nothing more to add except to thank the Government for meeting in a fair and liberal spirit the objections which were raised against the Code as it was originally proposed; and as they have made such great concessions, I am prepared to accept that Code as an experiment deserving of trial, while, from the difficulties which I think still surround the subject, they will, I hope, excuse me for saying that I cannot regard it as a final settlement until I see that it really works well and meets the requirements of the country. For the purpose of putting myself in order, and with a view to afford other hon. Members an opportunity of discussing the question, I shall now move the first Resolution I have placed on the paper; but I do not, of course, after what I have said, mean to press it to a division.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That, where it is proposed to give Government aid to Elementary Schools, it is inexpedient that the whole amount of such aid should depend on the individual examination of each child in reading, writing, and arithmetic.


said, that great and valuable as the concessions of the Government had been, there were still points in the new Code with respect to which he was anxious to obtain some information from the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Committee of Council on Education. He wished to know whether, under the last modification of the system laid before the House, it was to be bonà fide in the power of the managers of schools to present any child to be examined under any standard. He knew that a view had been taken by Government Inspectors to the effect, that inasmuch as an inspection of schools was to take place, it ought to be an important part of the duty of the master to classify his scholars according to their abilities and attainments; and that if, in the preliminary inspection of the school, they found a boy placed below his attainments, that would be considered a fault either of instruction or discipline, under Article 52; while, on the other hand, if a boy were placed in a high class for the inspection, they would not allow him afterwards to be presented for examination in one of the lower standards. Now, there were thousands of instances in which a boy of nine years of age had reached the first class. It was obviously not desirable that such boys should be presented for examination in the low standards; but, nevertheless, the Code made it the pecuniary interest of the managers to take that course; because, when they had once passed in the highest standard, they could not be examined again, and consequently could not earn any further capitation grant for the school. The next point on which he wished to be informed by the right hon. Gentleman, was the examination that was to take place according to the modified Code in evening schools. He thought it was idle to expect that the youths and men who attended evening schools in country parishes would expose their ignorance to a stranger from London by submitting to an examination. A few lads who had recently left the day schools might submit to an examination. Was it intended that the evening schools should be kept open throughout the year or not? If it was, he felt convinced that the men and lads would not keep up their attendance during the summer months; and if not, how would it be possible to examine the schools in a district in a satisfactory manner? It would be foolish to examine those who had been in the school only a few weeks, and useless to do so at a period six months after their attendance had ceased. Then with respect to the funds of the managers, he wished he could indulge the hope expressed by the right hon. Gentleman, that the managers would be in as good a position under the new regulation, as at present. But see how the case stood. The Government offered a grant of 4s. per head on the average attendance; but the Inspectors would for the first time have a power of withholding a portion of it, and not be obliged as previously, to give the whole or withhold the whole; and consequently there could be little doubt that they would exercise their power more freely. The managers would certainly, therefore; lose a portion of the 4s.; and as regards the other 8s., he believed that that sum would be reduced to 5s. 7d. before the examination, partly by the smaller number who would have attended 200 times, partly by the attendance of only 81 per cent of those on the books, and the absence of at least one-sixth on the day of examination; and then another sixth would be lost by the examination, or more. Consequently only 4s., or thereabouts, would be left of the second grant, leaving the whole amount only 8s., instead of the present 11s. 6d. per head. There was another point to which he would advert—the difference between schools conducted by a master and those conducted by a mistress. All previous managements had recognised the fact that the expense of schools conducted by a master was greater than the expense of those conducted by a mistress by 50 per cent. The augmentations granted to masters had been greater by 50 per cent than those granted to mistresses. And the salaries paid by managers were nearly in the same proportion. The new Code made the grants in both cases precisely equal, and the practical result would be to throw a greater burden upon the managers in the case of schools conducted by masters than in that of schools conducted by mistresses. He looked with great fear and distrust on the results of the change in their educational prospects, more especially on that part of their system which aimed at the formation of superior classes of teachers, calculated to give an impetus to the education of the country. The Code itself set out with making no provision at all on the subject of economy. In fact, it did not profess to have that for one of its objects, and he very much doubted whether there would be any economy in it, especially if it succeeded in one of its objects—the extension of the educational system into the poorer districts. In this manner there would, no doubt, be a saving of money, that a number of schools now doing valuable service to the country would be closed by the Code. On the other hand, a great deal more money would be spent in inspection, and the latest alterations would most probably increase that amount. But the chief subject of anxiety was the effect which the Code must have upon the pupil-teacher system. Up to the present time one pupil-teacher had been provided for every boys' school with more than fifty, and for every girls' school with more than forty scholars. In future a pupil-teacher was not to be required for any school with less than ninety scholars. The number employed, therefore, would be materially diminished; the time allotted for their instruction was to be curtailed; they would go to the training school less thoroughly prepared, and the pecuniary inducement to remain there a second year was taken away. It was admitted that the Royal Commissioners had been misled by some erroneous results deduced by Mr. Norris from statistics which he had collected; the Privy Council had followed that false lead, and the plan of his right hon. Friend was almost entirely based on that misapprehension. The main objects said to be aimed at were the extension of education and its increased efficiency; but the diminution of the teaching staff would certainly not add to its efficiency, and would lead to the deterioration of the quality of the education. He could not but feel that an act of great injustice had been done to the certificated teachers, and it was an act of injustice for which there was not even the excuse of pecuniary advantage to the country. The demand for certificated teachers up to the present time had been such that they had been able to obtain larger stipends than any one had counted on; but the supply had now overtaken the demand, and there was no doubt, that if things had been left to take their natural course, the stipends of the teachers would in a short time have found their natural level. At that moment this change of system was proposed, and unfortunately it bore the character of a breach of faith, which totally destroyed the confidence of the certificated teachers in the Government. It was idle to say that the results would fall upon the managers, and not the teachers, because it must be evident that the teachers would be affected by the inability of the managers to employ them or continue the guarantee which up to that time they had possessed. Their augmentations were all taken away in one day, and what possibility was there of the managers making up that sum to the certificated teachers. It was not a question of will but of power, and the clergy would be utterly unable to afford to keep them in future, however reluctant they might be to dispense with their services.


said, he so entirely agreed with what had fallen from his right hon. Friend (Mr. Walpole) that he should have been quite content to let the matter pass without remark had not some points been adverted to in the course of discussion upon which his views seemed to him to be of some importance. Upon the general subject he thought there was such a discrepancy between the Commissioners and the Inspectors that it was impossible to reconcile their statements, and after the issue of the Report in the last Session he took an opportunity of asking the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Board of Education whether he would not feel bound to tell the House in the present Session which the Government believed to be right. When it was considered that the amount of the educational Votes for England and Ireland in round numbers was £1,100,000, or as much as 1d. in the pound of income tax, and yet that half the children who where of an age to receive assistance in education did not participate in the advantage, it was a very serious question for the Government to consider whether the system was well founded or not. They had been told by the right hon. Gentleman the Secretary of State for the Home Department, and he had no doubt with great truth, that even prior to the Reports of the Commissioners, the Government had great doubt of the mode in which the system was working. He thought, therefore, it was impossible that things could be allowed to remain as they were. But he agreed with his right hon. Friend that in a case like this, where the system was of the Government's own contrivance—where the people who received the money had no voice in settling the terms—where, if he might use the phrase, they were obliged to shave with Government razors, whether they would cut or not—the Government ought, in giving some security that the outlay would really yield a fair return, to make the necessary changes with as little disturbance and with as much consideration for those concerned as possible. He thought that in the first Revised Code, instead of the change being made with the smallest amount of disturbance and the greatest amount of consideration, it combined the greatest amount of disturbance with the least consideration for those concerned. The right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Board of Education had endeavoured to account for the difference between the Inspectors and the Commissioners, and with great candour admitted that the Inspectors were not to blame, but if blame there was, it ought to rest upon the office. He quite agreed with the right hon. Gentleman in that respect. They had been told over and over again that the office tabulated the matter which the Inspectors furnished them with, finding the language in which it was tabulated. A great man on the other side of the channel, Count Talleyrand, once said that words were given to man to conceal his thoughts, and certainly the words used by the Education Office in interpreting the Inspectors conveyed in their ordinary acceptation a very different meaning from that which was put upon them. It was stated that eighty or ninety per cent of the scholars were well taught in reading, writing, and arithmetic, and when that was discovered to be quite contrary to the truth, it was said, "Oh, but you must not understand that the scholars had learnt it, but that the schoolmasters wore capable of teaching it, though they did not do so." There were many things specified in the examination tables and the returns of the Inspectors, and the first item in the account was that which related to religious examinations. Nothing could be more precise than the instructions given by the Archbishop, not only to examine into the mode of teaching in the schools and the taking of the children to Church, but the Inspectors were actually required to test the proficiency made, and to sec that the teaching was not mere rote teaching, but that religious instruction was really learnt. It was, therefore, most difficult to understand that the tabulated matter should mean one thing when it applied to reading, writing, and arithmetic, and another when it had reference to religious teaching; yet that was the only explanation which they had been enabled to get. He did not consider that an unimportant matter, because under both of the re-Revised Codes everything had to depend upon the action of the Inspectors; and unless there was considerable amendment in the mode in which their inspections were carried out, what greater security would they have that after all the disturbance things would be managed better than before? The right hon. Gentleman said the Government agreed with the Commissioners that so far as the augmentation grants were concerned it was necessary to sweep away that part of the system. They had had some experience in that very matter: it was far more difficult to sweep away a system than to build one up, for after all the time and attention they had paid to the matter it was difficult to say even now whether the system they had substituted would be an efficient one. If the Code had remained as it was first proposed, he must have gone dead against it. It manifested no consideration whatever for any party concerned; but the fatal blot in the system it established was, that it drew a distinction between religious and secular education, it being the first time that such a distinction had been drawn by the Government of this country. It was as bad as it could be. But he was bound to admit that after the meeting of Parliament the Government had shown every disposition to listen to any objections that could be fairly raised, and in the changes they had now made they had gone very far to meet such objections. Indeed, considering the gravity of the subject, they had gone quite as far as they could be expected to remove those objections upon a subject which was beset with difficulties. They might be making steps which they would have to retrace, and therefore it was highly creditable to the Government to have treated the matter with so much fairness and consideration. with respect to the financial aspect of the question, it was the general opinion, founded on the result of the inquiries made by the National Society, that the effect of the Code, as first proposed, would be to reduce the grants to the National schools by at least 40 per cent on an average; but under the recent changes a great deal of that reduction would vanish. It was quite speculative to say what number of children would be brought to the schools, but he thought that the consequence of the recent changes would be to restore, if he might say so, the grant to its former amount, or nearly so. The question of certificated masters was a more difficult one, because in a popular point of view it involved the question of a breach of faith on the part of the Government. He could not himself, looking at the original minute of 1846, conceive that the masters could have a just claim as for vested interests; but he had come to the conclusion that they might reasonably expect to have their rights properly considered, and it was the opinion of many for whom he had the highest possible re- spect that no alteration ought to take place in regard to their position. After all, let the Government do what they would with respect to the augmentation fund, the stipend of the certificated masters would always be regulated by the principles of supply and demand; if there was an excess of masters in the market, their salaries would come down, and whatever sum they might get from the Government could only be a supplement to the sum which they would obtain from the managers. The real question was, what would be the position of the masters if the Government went on increasing the pupil-teachers. At present there were some 15,000 pupil-teachers; they were all bound for five years; and if 3,000 of them were turned off every year to go through the training colleges, as a matter of figures, they must expect the market to be vastly overstocked within a very few years. There were in round numbers 10,000 or 11,000 schools presided over by masters or mistresses; they had at present in England 20,000 clergymen, who were kept up by an annual ordination of 700; and if they trained up 1,000 teachers annually to assist them in education, he asked any one of common sense whether they would not greatly overstock the market, and whether the position of the masters would not be injured accordingly. Taking the average attendance at 100 in a school, there, would be, in the first place, 4s. a head certain money. On the first £20 the master had a lien, and, of course, the larger the number of scholars the larger the sum he would receive. He agreed that they must view the question in a reasonable light, and as the plan was confessedly tentative, ought to see whether any injury would be done to a large and deserving class of men.

He now came to a question with respect to which he should have been glad not to have said a word, but from what fell from the Secretary of the Home Department the other night he felt bound to make some observations. The right hon. Gentleman said he thought the religious question was disposed of, and that no difference could be raised upon that. One of the hon. Members for Essex spoke of it as being a spectre—that the apprehension which had been raised throughout the country upon that point was a spectre. With the exception of two, all the societies connected with education of a religious, character had pressed the Government upon this subject, and had made it a matter of observation. That did not look as if it were a mere spectre. He admitted that the changes made by the Government had almost entirely removed the objections he had felt to the Code as originally proposed, as they now drew no distinction between religious and secular teaching People, however, had been rendered most sensitive upon that point by what had taken place. For the last four or five years many persons had felt, and no one more than himself, that this mode of education was inefficient to reach the whole wants of the country, and that it was absolutely impossible that the smaller parishes should partake of it. Several schemes had been brought forward, one by the right hon. Member for Droitwich (Sir John Pakington), and one by the Manchester gentlemen, to obviate this difficulty; but they had all failed, because persons saw in them, or thought they saw in them, schemes for secular teaching alone. Then they had a Commission, and the Commissioners reported that the country was not getting the kind of education that was wanted. The Commissioners said, that the religious teaching was best done, but they reported also that the religious teaching was unintelligent. It was not very easy to understand this, but he would cite the very words of the Commissioners— The children," said the Report, "do attend long enough to afford an opportunity of teaching them to read, write, and cipher. They neither read well nor write well. They work sums, but they learn their arithmetic in such a way as to be of little practical use in common life. Their religious instruction is unintelligent, and to a great extent confined to exercises of merely verbal memory. The evidence in support of these assertions will be adduced in a future chapter. They are made here as a justification of our opinion that the trained teachers often neglect an important part of their duty. The Government were thus dealing with a system whose defects were put strongly before them; but while they attempted to remedy those with reference to reading, writing, and arithmetic, they took no notice of the others. The next thing which made persons uneasy was the nature of the recommendations. They recommended that the present system should be done away with, and they gave a twofold remedy—first, that a certain amount should be paid by the Privy Council, and another portion out of the county rates; but to neither one nor the other grant did they attach the condition that the teaching should be of a religious character. He re- joiced that the Government had thrown that portion of the scheme over; still it had made the minds of men uneasy and sensitive. Then they came to the words of the Revised Code itself. Something was supposed to be contained in the words instruction or discipline, but people differed greatly when they read that article as to what it meant—how far religious instruction was intended. They had set it right now by a foot-note; but that was not a very satisfactory mode of setting matters right, and he hoped the right hon. Gentleman opposite would have the whole Code reprinted in such a shape as that he who ran might read and understand it, for in its present form, with a mass of red ink passages and foot-notes, it was very difficult for any man to gather its meaning. The right hon. Gentleman had stated in his speech that it was almost the duty of the Privy Council to separate themselves from the religious part of the instruction of the country, and to vindicate to themselves only the secular part. The Committee, had, indeed, been told that all that was secured by an Order in Council; but various interpretations might be given of Orders in Council, and curious things done under them. The right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lowe) had, in his opinion, endeavoured to lay down positions which went in the very teeth of the Order in Council to which they had so often been referred. The right hon. Gentleman had published a revised version of his speech on the subject; and when a Minister having charge of a most important Department took that course one could fairly attach more weight to his statements than if the had been simply made in the hurry of debate, and reported in the ordinary manner. In that revised speech the light hon. Gentleman truly said that no grants had been made to schools not open to inspection, but he added that the Government Inspectors did not interfere with the religious instruction, discipline, or management of these schools, but were employed to verify the fulfilment of the conditions on which the grants were made; and then he observed, "Thus it appears that the religious element underlies the whole system of the Privy Council." No doubt that was perfectly true; but the right hon. Gentleman went on to say, "The Privy Council represents the secular element in education," and he added that it would not be creditable for any Government who had at the same time to inspect the teaching of a great number of different religious denominations to enter into the question of religious instruction. Let the Committee remember that this was said in a country where there was an Established Church, and where, in regard to Church schools, this matter had been placed on a definite footing by Order in Council. The right hon. Gentleman, speaking of the Government, continued, "They stand impartial among the sects." Was it decent that the Church of England should be described by a Minister of the Crown as a sect? This was almost the first time that that expression had been so used, and that, too, it should be borne in mind, not in an ordinary speech, but in a deliberately considered published document. But the right hon. Gentleman proceeded to say that the Government inspected the secular education, and left to each denomination the care of its religious instruction; in the case of the Church of England giving the Archbishops the benefit of their machinery in carrying out the inspection. That, he maintained, was incorrect, as he should presently endeavour to show. The right hon. Gentleman also said that the sharp line between secular and religious instruction complained of by the opponents of the Revised Code was already drawn, although in the case of Church of England schools the same persons inspected the religious and the secular instruction, doing this, as he termed it, "in different capacities," and acting in the one instance as "servants of the Privy Council, and in the other as servants of the Archbishops." Now, he (Mr. Henley) denied that assertion altogether, and referred to the Order in Council in proof of such denial. But the right hon. Gentleman added that the Privy Council had always held that its business was "to promote instruction," and that, however desirable moral and religious instruction might be, that was not the object for which the grant was given. Surely, it beloved the Committee to be very jealous when such expressions were deliberately put forward by a Minister? The right hon. Gentleman said that the Inspectors in carrying out an inspection into religious instruction acted only as the servants of the Archbishop, but he (Mr. Henley) dissented entirely from that statement. The right hon. Gentleman went on to say that under the Order in Council of 1840, the Inspectors did inspect the state of religious instruction in Church of England schools; but he added that they did so not in the character of Inspectors of the Privy Council. The Committee would observe how the right hon. Gentleman proceeded step by step to separate the duties, and to make the Privy Council take cognizance only of secular matters. The right hon. Gentleman said the Inspectors in inspecting Church of England schools as to religious instruction acted under the Order of 1840 in some degree as the servants of the Archbishops, and sent in their reports of religious instruction together with the rest of the reports. The Committee would be led to imagine from those words that the report of religious instruction was made separately; but that was not the case. There was but one report—a duplicate of which was sent to the Archbishop. The matter was really important, and therefore he must refer to the words of the Order in Council of 1840, from which no ingenuity short of that of the right hon. Gentleman would have attempted to draw the distinction between secular and religious education which he had laboured to establish. The Committee would remember how often and how strongly it had been pressed to pay only for secular teaching, and to leave religious bodies to themselves, but they had invariably refused to adopt those recommendations. The Order in Council of 1840 contained instructions that showed distinctly that while the authorities of the Church of England had a proper voice in the nomination of Inspectors and framing regulations for religious inspection, the reports of such inspection were made to the Privy Council. There was not one word to show that in a country where there was an established church, the Sovereign being the head of that Church, the inspection of religious education was no part of the duty of the Educational Department of the State. The original grants were for building purposes, and were made to two societies, one connected with the Church of England, and the other the British and Foreign School Society; but in the grant to the latter, Parliament insisted as a condition that the authorized version of the Scriptures should be read in the schools. The grants had since very properly been extended to other denominations, and the same requirement had been made. So it was with the augmentation grants; the money was paid by the State as much, for the religious as for the secular instruction. He felt bound to protest against what seemed to be the position of the right hon. Gentleman, that the Privy Council had nothing to do with any but secular instruction. He agreed with his right hon. Friend that the weakest part of this scheme was that it was so framed now that it could not reach a great number of cases which greatly needed assistance. The plan of sending pupil-teachers to schools in small places, would expose young women, if not to danger, at least to scandal. That was a point which deserved consideration, and which it appeared not to have received. There were many neglected districts which this system would not reach, but he thought that the first duty of the State was to afford assistance to those who stood most in need of it. He believed that the poor outcast children who were, so to speak, upon the outside of society, were those whom the State ought, at all events, to try and educate. Their education need not be con ducted upon any expensive scale, but some effort should be made to reach them, and he could not help thinking, that if the Government applied their minds to the question, they would be able, if not now. at least at some future time to secure the education of these children.


said, it would be useless to attempt any opposition to the Government scheme after the course taken by the right hon. Gentleman; but he thought that the case of the teachers—a most deserving body of men, who were called into existence and encouraged by the Government—was a stronger one than had yet been represented The Government had induced these persons by definite and specific engagements to adopt their present profession, and he contended that from these engagements the Government had no right to recede. To every apprentice a document called an augmentation broadsheet was delivered, which on one side referred to duties and privileges while training, and on the other to emoluments which they would receive as teachers. This document began thus—"Their Lordships will grant in aid of the salary of every" certificated teacher certain annual sums, and this was repeated in every broad-sheet up to 1859, but in that year the word "will" was quietly changed to "may." This appeared extremely significant. If this transaction had been between private persons, an action might, he believed, have been founded upon such a breach of faith as was now contemplated, and legal opinions to this effect had been given. The House had voted compensation to proc- tors and other, and he did not see why a body of men, who had, perhaps, a stronger claim, should be treated differently, simply because they were comparatively uninfluential. The augmentation broadsheet declared that the grants would be made by post-office orders, payable to the teachers themselves, and it added— They belong exclusively to the teachers, not to the general funds of the school. Their Lordships cannot sanction corresponding reductions in the previous salaries of the teachers, even though more than sufficient to fulfil the conditions of the particular grant. Then in 1859 the Secretary wrote— No person who is, or has been, a Queen's scholar, or for whose annual examinations grants have been made to the college, is morally free to quit the profession of a teacher. And in February, 1861, the Committee of Council wrote— Queen's scholars are trained at the public expense for a profession understood to be that of their lives, and not for a temporary or provisional one. That was the language used to them; but the arrangement now proposed is one-sided. The Government are themselves withdrawing from an engagement from which they have declared that the teachers could not honourably recede. The augmentation grant was always held out to persons as an inducement to enter the profession, and yet it would be taken away by the Revised Code. It is indeed true, that by one of the alterations in the Revised Code there is a pretence of compensation to the certificated teachers, by giving them a lion on the capitation grant. Every teacher, however, and almost every practical educationist knows that this is of no value; indeed, it is generally regarded as worse than nothing. That this inducement to enter the profession was not intended to lead to any but a permanent arrangement was shown by the language used respecting pensions. Their Lordships said that under the Minute of 1846 they took power, but did not pledge themselves, to grant pensions, and that therefore no such pensions could be claimed as a right. This implied clearly that augmentations were to be claimed as a right. Now, when the state of education in 1846 and the advance which it has made since then were remembered, the question of expense seemed comparatively unimportant, especially when the State only contributed one-third of the whole amount spent; and, for the sake of economy, to commit a breach of faith with these persons, was worthy neither of the Government nor of the country. The right hon. Gentleman had strongly denounced them for associating with a view simply to maintain their rights. He thought the language in which the right hon. Gentleman had attacked the pupil-teachers was not worthy of him. They had rendered valuable services to the country, and the results had been highly beneficial. He could not but think that considerable jealousy was somewhere manifested of the great spread of education; perhaps it had spread too rapidly for the upper classes, and that therefore this plan had been proposed. It would be useless, however, to oppose it; but he felt they were doing injustice to the teachers by removing the grant to them. Instead of being an encouragement to education, he feared the effect of the plan would be to lower the standard they had for years been endeavouring to attain.


was understood to say it was unnecessary for him to move the Amendments he had placed on the paper, as the Vice President of the Committee of Education had practically adopted them. Knowing the difficulties the right hon. Gentleman had had to contend with, from friends on one side and foes on the other, he thought the compromise he had made was a fair and just one. For himself he accepted it, believing it would on the whole, work advantageously. With regard to the proposal for examinations of the pupils, however, attending evening schools, he was not sanguine as to the results. Knowing the class of scholars who attended the evening schools, he believed it would be difficult to induce them to attend the examinations. With regard to the pupil-teachers, he should have been glad if the notice had been extended from six to twelve months. But he did not think these points would essentially affect the plan, which was likely to produce satisfactory results, as the managers of schools would have an incentive to insure a good examination. He therefore would conclude by thanking the right hon. Gentleman for having proposed his present plan.


said, he wished to express his sincere gratification at finding that the Government had relieved the country from the grave apprehension which had prevailed lest the new Code might separate religious from secular instruction. He was one of the first to raise the alarm; and he would have been exceedingly sorry to have brought any imputation of the sort against the Government, had not the document which they issued afforded fair ground for the apprehension that such a separation was in contemplation. It was a grave circumstance. He was happy that such apprehension had now been allayed, and he hoped that the Code, when it was finally printed, would leave no doubt of the determination of the House and of the Government, that the religious should not be separated from the secular education, and that a fair weight should be given to successful teaching of religion in the premiums and aid that were granted from the public money. He rejoiced that the right hon. Gentleman opposite (Mr. Lowe) had given way to public opinion; but still he had not fully satisfied public feeling. Had he adopted 15s. per child as a maximum, and given one-half for the satisfactory general condition of the school, including religious and moral instruction, and made the other half dependent on an examination, the public would probably have been satisfied, and he (Mr. Newdegate) believed the examinations would be likely to be effective, but reduced as the allowance was to be, the margin upon which reductions in consequence of unsatisfactory examinations could be made was so small that he (Mr. Newdegate) thought it would defeat the object intended; for the attempt to reduce the allowance to schools generally to an amount much below the limit of 10s. per child would not be enforced, owing to the extreme severity of such a proceeding. The provision for extending education to the poorer, and especially to the poorer and also more populous districts, appeared to him insufficient. The right hon. Gentleman said it was impossible to adapt two classes of schools to the grant. No doubt it was a difficulty. But the House of Commons did not meet to evade difficulties, but to overcome them. And he hoped the Government would devise means by which this reproach of the system should be removed —namely, that the public money was given to the wealthier districts in preference to the poorer. Great apprehensions, he knew, were entertained that many schools in the poorer and more populous districts would be closed; and if that lamentable result should ensue, he could only trust, for the sake of justice, the Government would apply their energies to remove so grievous a blot from our national system of education.


said, he was disposed to regret the alterations that had been made in the Revised Code. The country was called on to educate only the poor out of the national funds; but he feared that the tendency of those alterations would be to divert the public money still more than hitherto to the education of the middle and better classes. If 8s. were given for the greatest number of attendances and for the best examinations, the consequence would be that managers would offer every inducement by giving a higher-class education to obtain as many as possible of the better class, who alone could afford the time for the regular attendance required; and the poor children would, he feared, be handed over to the care of the pupil-teachers. He would suggest, therefore, that it would be a great improvement if they were to decide that where grants were applied for for new schools, they should be only given in those cases in which an assurance was obtained that the education was to be confined to reading, writing, and arithmetic, with perhaps some industrial training. If that limit were adopted, the middle classes would cease to send their children to schools where they could receive only that elementary education. However, he should have been well pleased to leave the matter in the hands of the executive Government, merely taking the general feeling of the House on it, without going so much into detail as had been the case in the previous debates.


Sir, before the right hon. Gentleman speaks in reply, I am desirous of addressing a few words to the House. After the concessions which have been made by the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Board of Education in deference to the opinions expressed in the former debutes, I quite concur in the course taken by my right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge. However our opinions may differ as to the result of these changes, I do not think that sufficient ground exists for a fair Parliamentary opposition to the general scope of them. But every speech which I have heard to-night increases the regret I felt at the refusal of the noble Lord to give us more time for the consideration of these changes. The subject is now being-regarded in all parts of the country with the greatest interest; and since it first gained public attention we never have had a fairer prospect, taking advantage of the valuable Report of the Commissioners, and aided by the experience and ability of the right hon. Gentleman opposite, of arriving at a final settlement of the difficulties which surround this question. Those difficulties are admitted by the course which; the right hon. Gentleman himself has taken. Three times he has been compelled to revised his Code, and he himself must admit that the objections which have been urged to his plan have been perfectly well-founded, and that, in the discussions which have taken place, he has been met fairly on the merits of the question, without anything approaching to party spirit or hostility, I myself deeply regret, without the slightest party feeling, that advantage has not been taken of the present opportunity to come to a final settlement of the question. In order to arrive at that desirable result, it was absolutely necessary that we should have time to consider these changes. When I asked the noble Lord the other night, in the best spirit, to give us more time, he quoted a number of dates, telling us on what day of April the changes were laid on the table, what day they were printed, and so on; but he omitted to mention the somewhat important fact that this altered Code was laid on the table on the very night that Parliament adjourned for the Easter recess, and that we did not reassemble until last Monday night. During that time we have had, of course, no opportunity for conference, nor for ascertaining the feelings of the country. The noble Lord's reason was the state of public business; but really I never remember a Session when the state of public business gave: him more opportunity for concession. In standing here I can scarcely call to mind a single Government Bill of importance which is before us or is likely to occupy our time. Nobody ever led this House who was less open to the charge of a want of courtesy than the noble Lord; but he certainly would have acted more in accordance with his usual courtesy, and would have served his own object better, had he given us the time we asked for. My right hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge University has to-night thrown out a suggestion which has been re-echoed by many other Gentlemen, and which the Vice President must admit is well worthy of consideration— whether, instead of taking the division of 4s. and 6s., it would not be better to take 6s. and 9s. or some other figures. The noble Lord the Member for Middlesex (Viscount Enfield) has also suggested the importance of extending the notice to pupil-teachers from six months to twelve; months. One of the most doubtful points of the right hon. Gentleman's changes in regard to the pupil-teacher system was their tendency to destroy that system, or to reduce it to a monitorial system; but the suggestion of the noble Lord might go some way towards modifying the effect of those changes. Here are two points on which we might have come to some agreement not necessarily hostile to the proposal of the Government, had we had the time for consideration which we asked for. To deal however with the question as it stands before us, I am very much afraid that the Code will not satisfy the country. Indeed, I doubt whether the course taken by my right hon. Friend to-night, though I quite concur in it, will give satisfaction. Great and well-founded apprehension still exists in the country as to the effect of the first of these changes, which relates to the taking of a part of the capitation grant on the general merits of the schools and the rest for examination. I myself find no fault with the principle of giving a portion of the grant upon examination, though I object most strongly to paying the whole of it for that test. The great complaint of the schools is—and I am afraid this will be found to be the practical result of the change—that though the best-conducted schools, those which require assistance least, will be nearly as well off as before, the poorer schools, which have to struggle with the greatest difficulties, will under these changes be exposed to great reductions in their annual receipts, which they can ill afford. The hon. Member for Perth (Mr. Kinnaird) has referred to the bearing of the Code on the certificated masters; and though I admit the difficulties in which the Government were placed on this part of the question, and the reasonableness of the wish of the right hon. Gentleman opposite to make the schoolmasters of England less dependent on the Government and to increase the connection between them and the managers, yet I agree with the hon. Gentleman that the actual arrangement of the Government, if not a breach of faith, is at least something so nearly approaching to it, that I very much regret the necessity in which the right hon. Gentleman has found himself of persevering with this portion of his plan. I have only made these remarks in order to justify the opinion which I entertain that this can only be regarded as an experimental plan, and certainly not as a final settlement of this long-disputed and difficult question. I will not enter upon the proposal of the hon. Gentleman the Member for Berkshire (Mr. Walter), but before sitting down I wish to advert to the mode of administration at present adopted by the Privy Council. The Committee ought not to forget that the Commissioners had strongly urged that point upon our attention. The system as it has hitherto been administered does not reach more than one-half of the poorer children of the country. Indeed, I believe that the number who participate in the State grant might be more correctly set down at three-sevenths than at one-half of those children. The right hon. Gentleman the Vice President of the Education Committee has, as far as his language goes, dealt with that portion of the question in a spirit of perfect candour. No one could admit more distinctly than he has done, that a large portion of the country is unaffected by the system as it is now worked; and I am anxious to know whether the right hon. Gentleman can give anything like a satisfactory assurance that the Code which is now submitted will meet this glaring defect. We cannot for one moment regard that question as settled, or as approaching a settlement, as long as we leave that great portion of the population untouched by the grants of the public money. I ask the right hon. Gentleman to tell us how he proposes under the new scheme to meet that great defect; and if the right hon. Gentleman cannot give any satisfactory answer upon that point—as I believe that he cannot —I will next ask the right hon. Gentleman how it happens that the Education Department, which has made such great concessions, has utterly disregarded and ignored all that portion of the Report of the Commissioners which bears upon this most important subject. Although I agree with much which my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxfordshire has said, I differ from him in the expression of satisfaction that the proposal of charging a portion of the expense upon county rates has not been adopted. I have more than once said in this House that it would be fair, and I believe it would be wise, and consistent with our institutions, to leave a portion of the burden to be borne by local funds. Whether by a county or a parochial rate the principle is the same, and I do not shrink from repeating my opinion, that we ought to deal with the intellectual wants of the poor in the same manner in which we have successfully treated their physical wants. The Poor Law has perhaps thrown, too much upon local funds and not enough on personal property, but for the purposes of education, I do not see why local funds should not bear some share of the expense. The Commissioners adopt that view, and, while I agree with their Report in this respect, I still more cordially agree with them in the recommendation that the action of the central department should be supported by local agency. They recommend the constitution of county boards. I recommend boards acting for smaller districts; but it is my firm belief that you can never hope to carry on education in such a manner as to reach the smaller schools and the more destitute districts unless you infused local aid into the system. Another portion of the Report of the Commissioners has also been ignored. It occupies no less than 90 pages of the Report, in which the Commissioners, upon conclusive evidence, treat with great ability the question of up plying small educational charities to the purposes of general education. When I mentioned it on a former occasion, the right hon. Gentlemen the Vice President said he would not follow my example by recommending confiscation. I will not quarrel with that expression of the right hon. Gentleman; I leave him to settle the question of confiscation with the Members of the Cabinet, and especially with the Duke of Newcastle, who was Chairman of the Commission. Notwithstanding the charge of advocating confiscation, I retain the opinion which I have expressed, and I regret to find that the new scheme leaves that important point untouched. There are in England an immense number of educational charities not assisting but positively impeding education. The Commissioners state that there are no less than 13,000 such charities under £5 a year, and many thousands yielding only between £5 and £10 a year. There are a number of these in the district in which I live, and I find that without exception they are all impediments to education. I feel persuaded that it was a judicious recommendation that the Privy Council should be endowed with power—not to confiscate anything, not to divert these charities when they are useful —but when they are doing harm, to apply them in aid of the national funds, and, by promoting the cause of education, to carry out more effectually the intentions of their founders. I repeat, I think it right to accept the proposals of the Government, leaving with them the responsibility of putting them into operation; and I only regret that more time has not been given to the subject, by which those proposals might have been made to assume a shape far more beneficial to the cause of education.


said, that al- though he agreed with the right hon. Baronet who had just addressed the Committee that the proposal of the Government would not reach the most destitute districts of the country, he could not approve of the mode in which the right hon. Gentleman proposed to remedy that deficiency. Indeed, the right hon. Baronet had raked up the ashes of an ancient controversy, which he had hoped had almost been forgotten. The scheme of the right hon. Baronet was opposed upon the grounds that the ratepayers in the different districts were not likely to conduct education with success, and that the religious liberty of different denominations would be infringed. The recommendation of the Commissioners was not open to those two objections, and therefore the right hon. Baronet could not claim in his favour the authority of the Commissioners. Turning to the question more immediately under the consideration of the House, he agreed that the concessions which had now been made by the Government were far more than they had a right to expect, and that the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President deserved the highest credit for the manner in which he had dealt with the subject. But these feelings were succeeded by the reflection—what was the use of the remnant of the Revised Code after such large holes had been made in it? The object of the right hon. Gentleman's former scheme was to take care that he got money's worth for what was expended; but now the test was altogether abandoned. True, there was to be an examination, but the masters were to be allowed to fix for each child the subjects and standard of examination. Such a test, so far as any real progress was concerned, must be very illusory and inoperative, unless some rigorous rules were introduced under cover of these discretionary powers. He for one did not complain of that, but he wished to ask, when the scheme of the right hon. Gentleman had become powerless by the concessions he had so liberally made, why he wished to make this revolution in the whole system of education? He was far from maintaining that the existing system did not require amendment. The blot of that system was that it did not reach the poorer and more destitute districts. Those districts should be sought out and relieved; but the relief now offered to those districts was exceedingly small. The regulation with respect to the fourth class of masters was accom- panied by objections of so serious a character, that probably it would be one of the first features of the scheme to be altered. The authority of the Royal Commission, on which to a great extent the scheme proceeded, had suffered serious wounds since this discussion commenced. Their Report was founded on the reports of the Assistant Commissioners; and the latter, it was now well known, had been made, in not a few cases, on no very good grounds. The Assistant Commissioners themselves had been examined—they had gone to examine the schoolmasters, and the schoolmasters in turn had examined them, as to the grounds on which their reports were founded. Answers had been Bent in which were placed in the hands of hon. Members, and, so far as answers had been received, it certainly appeared that in many cases the Assistant Commissioners had formed their judgment and made their report on the slightest basis that could well be conceived. Their reports were diametrically opposite to those made by Her Majesty's Inspectors, yet the right hon. Gentleman preferred acting on the reports of the Assistant Commissioners. Dr. Hodgson, one of the Assistant Commissioners, had reported most strongly against the existing system. He said, "Reading is by no means taught in general as it ought to be. "Writing in most schools is much more practised than taught." "Arithmetic is too often taught by rule instead of by reason." "In grammar he found great deficiency." But, what was the amount of investigation he gave to the subject before forming a judgment so damaging to the labours of so many men? In St. George's, Southwark, Dr. Hodgson made no examination. He said he had no authority to examine. At Bowyer's School, Clapham, "the Assistant Examiner stayed at the door and heard the children sing, 'Rule Britannia;' stayed five minutes." At Wurtemberg Place (Boys') School "made inquiries respecting statistics; asked elder boys a few questions on digestion." At Wurtemberg Place (Girls') School "did not even walk round the school." At the Model School, Westminster, "spent nearly two hours in the school, but did not ask the scholars a single question." At the Senior School, Westminster the Assistant Commissioner "spent two minutes in this school;" "no examination." That was a specimen of the evidence on which they were to con- demn the whole system of education. The condemnation of the present system was not admitted. It had been too rashly assumed. He would read to the Committee a specimen of the mode of examination of a school conducted by an Assistant Commissioner. He had received the following from the master of a school at Ipswich. It had been assigned by the examiner as an exercise in dictation to his scholars. He did not know, however, that it could be made very intelligible by reading:— While hewing yews Hugh lost his ewe, and put it in the Hue and Cry. To name its face's dusky hues Was all the effort he could use. You brought the ewe back by-and-by, And only begged the hewer's ewer Your hands to wash in water pure, Lest nice-nosed ladies, not a few, Should cry, on coming near you, 'Ugh !' Was the Committee to be told that, in consequence of the representations of such men, the system which for twenty-five years Parliament had been building up was to be reversed at a single blow? He could not look with the same feeling of acquiescence at the changes to be proposed as did his right hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge; but still, where Parliament had committed to the Executive Government the management of a system, the Legislature could not exercise the same rigid scrutiny over their proceedings as if they were embodied in a Bill before the House. He was therefore content to allow the proposed system to pass under protest from the stage of theory to the stage of experiment. The Legislature would soon see whether the fears that had been expressed were well founded. It was to be apprehended that the evil that had been done by the proposal of the Government could not be undone, whether the Government scheme were passed or not. The real evil of what had occurred during the last twelve months was that a blow had been given to the confidence of the managers. They had spent considerable sums and given a great deal of labour to the cause of education on the faith of a pledge; but the Vice President of the Committee of Education had taught them that there was no continuity of tradition in the office over which he presided—that the pledges and promises of one day were not those of the next, and that another turn of the political wheel might raise up some man with a theory which would render all their past labour and expenditure in vain. It had been rightly said that great discon- tent existed out of doors, and every hon. Member would be able to confirm that remark by reference to the letters he had received on the subject. A suspicion was generally entertained—he would not say it was just—that the right hon. Gentleman concealed under the decorous words suited to his official position a desire to revert to the voluntary system in education, and to put an end to the principle of State aid. If the right hon. Gentleman really wished to infuse an element of decay into the existing system, and gradually to make it crumble and moulder away, and if he desired that education should be ere long based on the voluntary principle, he could not but most heartily congratulate the right hon. Gentleman on his prospects of success.


said, that he thought the Committee would feel that it was indebted to the right hon. Gentleman (Mr. Lowe) for the labour and pains he had bestowed on this subject, but for -which the House would not now be in a condition to deal with it. He did not wish to charge the Government with having committed an absolute breach of faith, but it was not surprising that teachers had relied on the continuity of their position. There could be no doubt, that in dealing with education what the managers of schools had most to consider was, how far the staff which they employed was an educated staff; and the staff which had the morale which would enable them to carry out their best intentions for the good of the children. Under these circumstances, he personally deplored that so great a change in the position of the staff had been found necessary. His letters—and they were numerous—assured him that many of the best masters were now entirely unsettled in their views, and unless the measures of the Government were carried out in a conciliatory and forbearing way, the effect upon some excellent schools would be most deplorable. He therefore trusted that the Educational Department would carry out the Code with the greatest forbearance and kindness to the teachers and other persons to whom the country was greatly indebted.


said, he would bog to express his gratification at the course which his right hon. Friend (Mr. Walpole) proposed to take. At the same time, he should have preferred his right hon. Friend's Resolution to the proposal of the Government, because he understood his right hon. Friend to mean that the portion of the grant which should be paid on general inspection should still depend on some tests of good schooling. He should much prefer that the inspection should involve some conditions of satisfaction, instead of being nugatory as it had hitherto been, and simply, in fact, a process of drawing grants for attendance. If, however, as seemed to be the desire of the Committee, it was intended to take the whole plan of the Government, subject to such amendments as should be made in detail, he should be content to accept the amended proposal of the Government as an experiment. The whole system during the last thirty years, indeed, had been a series of experiments, nor could the Committee ever expect to come to a final state of things. If the noble Lord was correct in describing the object of the present proposition to be to induce managers to rally round the voluntary principle and to restrain the too great interference of the Government, then no greater recommendation of the Government scheme could be urged. The second object of the Government was to create something like a test of the education given. That test was not so stringent as it was originally proposed it should be, and in that respect he considered that the Code had been wisely modified. If, as had been said, the steps which had been taken were such as to shake the confidence of the certificated masters in the Government, they could have had no better result. The present system had broken in upon its original limits, and it was necessary, to some extent, to retrace their steps. The voluntary principle was the basis of the National system, and the only one consistent with our habits and with religious security. If there was any part of the administration of the country which more than another would suffer by centralization—if there was one thing which they ought most scrupulously to keep out of the hands of the Government, it was the education of the people. No doubt a Governmental system produced uniformity; but what was lost in that respect would be more than counterbalanced by the greater zeal, energy, and vigour of religious societies connected with the education of the poor, and it was only because it had been found that those societies were not able to undertake the whole task that the Government had been authorized to make any educational grants at all. If the Government, therefore, felt inclined to withdraw from their growing interference, by all means let the House help them to do so. It was, indeed, high time to take this subject out of the hands of the Government, and restrict them to aiding voluntary efforts. It was said that the propositions before the Committee would not deal with the poorer districts; but what suggestion had been made for an improvement on those propositions in respect of poorer schools? It had been suggested by the noble Lord that to the poorer districts a bonus should be given, in the nature of relaxed conditions, or exceptional grants on evidence of their own insufficiency. What could be more destructive than such a plan? They might depend on it, that poor districts would spring up fast enough if they established any such system. The only safe plan was one making education easy for all, and not affording peculiar facilities, such as those referred to by the noble Lord, for districts which failed in any way to meet those easy conditions.


Sir, I have very often, at very unconscionable length, addressed the House on this subject: but on those occasions I had this excuse—that I was struggling for practical results. Now, I am happy to perceive that the Committee are disposed to give their approbation to the propositions of the Government, and, under these circumstances, I think it would be inexcusable in me to re-open the controversy which took place in reference to the Revised Code. I do not think it would be for the convenience of the Committee that I should follow the noble Lord the Member for Stamford (Lord R. Cecil) into the vexed question of the degree of efficiency under the former system, or into the reports of the Inspectors. For what purpose should I do so? In these discussions I have been unfortunately obliged to say a great deal of the evil results of the system administered by my own department. I have done so because there was a great evil to be remedied; but in the position which the question now occupies I think I should be inexcusable if I went back to those annoying topics and reiterated those charges, which I made most unwillingly, but which have resulted in bringing about what I believe to be very important amendments. The noble Lord asks me what advantages we expect from the system which we have put before the House; and he says it is very different from the one which we first laid before them. It is very different, and I am not going to enter into a comparison of the two plans. We have bowed to the decision of the House in the matter, and I shall not say a word against that decision, because I think, that taking the system as it is, it will effect a considerable improvement. First, it will get rid of vested interests growing up under the late system; and, if no other advantage be gained, I think that a great one. Then it will place the administration of our national education on a much simpler basis. It will simplify the working of the whole department. It will place the whole of the affairs of the school in the hands of the managers, who, for the future, will be its real masters. There will be no longer any divided control. Then the principle of examination to show results will be established. No doubt it does not remain with the same stringency as we originally proposed; but, even as now to be practised, it will record the progress of the school; it will enable every one to see how the school gets on; and a certain amount of Government aid will depend on the results which it will make known. As I before observed, I could desire more; but I am not one who, because I cannot get what I wish, would turn round and complain of the decision of the House. In. what the House have given us I believe they have given us a great deal. It would be presumptuous, of course, in me to defend any act of my noble Friend at the head of the Government; but I must say that the effect of this debate appears to me very different from that which the right hon. Gentleman (Sir J. Pakington) takes it to be. While he finds in this discussion a reason for delay I find in it a reason for going on; because almost every hon. Member who has spoken this evening seems to have formed definite opinions on the subject. Some have approved the propositions of the Government; others have disapproved certain of them; but no one hon. Gentleman has spoken with doubt or hesitation. Perhaps the right hon. Gentleman wished to go into the question of a local rate and other matters of that kind; and if he brought forward those questions, it is probable that we should not be able to do anything on the subject this Session. [Sir JOHN PAKINGTON: The right hon. Gentleman is quite mistaken.] Well, de non apparentibus et non existentibus eadem est ratio; but there was a prophecy that we were not likely to get through this question by the end of the Session. The right hon. Gentleman the Member for Oxford shire (Mr. Henley) has charged me with entertaining erroneous views as to the position which the Committee of Council should hold in respect to religious instruction. I wished, as far as I was able, to give a true and fair account of what the working of the system is. What we have now done is to leave matters as we had them. We have introduced certain, words to satisfy the scruples of those who did not think that we had framed sufficient safeguards; but we have not altered the case as it stood. The Privy Council now occupies an impartial position among all religious bodies — I will not say "sects," as that term appears to be offensive to the right hon. Gentleman—because, as far as it is a central body, it can know no difference between them. When, therefore, I said that the Privy Council represented the secular element, I think it could not be otherwise, because, having to deal with Jews and Christians, with Roman Catholics and Protestants, with members of the Church of England and Dissenters, it must stand on secular ground if it would be perfectly impartial. My hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire (Mr. Puller) asked me, with regard to evening schools, whether there is any direction in the Minute as to the period at which they are to be held. In reply, I have to say that there is not. He also asked me, with respect to the standards, whether it will be in the power of the master to place a child in any standard he pleases. It is for the master, at first, to place a child in any standard he pleases; but, when once he has done so, the Minute takes hold of the child and moves him from one standard to another. Any violation of the rule laid down on this head will be dealt with on the report of the Inspector. I abstain from going into calculations as to the sums which schools will receive. I have made many; but, as the Committee has been kind enough to accept my proposal, I think time may be more wisely employed than in entering into what, after all, must be to some: extent conjectural, though I have the best reason for believing that the information upon which I have acted will not be of the unsatisfactory nature contemplated by some hon. Gentlemen. There is another point which has not been touched upon in this debate which I shall mention, because I think it will be satisfactory to the managers of schools. The first draught of the Revised Code require that scholars should have been in the schools sixteen days or a month before the examination. That provision has been struck out, and has never since been replaced in any shape. The result will be, and is intended to be, that if a child has been 200 days in a school in the earlier part of the year and then leaves, but is available and competent for examination, the, managers may have the child examined and thus obtain the capitation grant. In other words, if the child has done the work, though he has left the school, the school will still obtain the benefit. I quite agree that this measure cannot be regarded, without the greatest arrogance and presumption on my part, as a final one; but there are principles for which I have always contended, and from which I am not disposed to go back. One is, that we should do away with all appropriated grants, and know no one financially but the manager of a school. The other is, that we should have, under such modifications as the House of Commons may be pleased to allow, some individual examination of the scholars. Those two principles I could not relinquish, for of their immense importance I was well aware; but as the House was kind enough to allow me to retain them, I was quite willing to give up anything else. I hope the Committee will believe that in this matter we were not striving for a victory, or to carry out any ideas which we may, perhaps, erroneously have entertained, but to substitute what we believe to be really sound principles of finance and management for those which we found in operation and which we perceived to be defective. Before I sit down, I must turn with the greatest pleasure to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for Cambridge, and beg to offer my sincere acknowledgments of the manner in which he has conducted this controversy. He has had the good fortune— which I cannot even bring myself to envy him—of having carried out substantially that which he proposed; and having done so, in the moment of triumph and victory he has had the wisdom and moderation to stop short, and to leave to the enemy almost lying under foot the remainder to which he still clung, having conceded all he could. It is a rare instance of candour, moderation, and good feeling; and I should be unjust if I did not include in this tri- bute those who acted with the right hon. Gentleman in this House. I return my sincere thanks to the Committee. I trust they will believe I speak with all sincerity when I say that the result, though not exactly what I had hoped for, is still exceedingly grateful to me, and I have no doubt it will be extremely beneficial to the country generally.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.


Sir, in rising for the purpose of breaking fresh ground in this hitherto well-trodden field of debate, and in moving the Resolution which stands in my name, I am sure I may be allowed to congratulate the Committee, in the first place, on the peaceful and happy solution of the controversy raised by my right hon. Friend the Member for the University of Cambridge, which, had it proceeded, would at least have involved us in a protracted discussion, and perhaps imperilled the cause in which we are all so deeply interested—that of education itself. Into none of those questions which formed the subject of my right hon. Friend's Resolutions is it my business to enter. I think it is a mere matter of detail in what manner the two great principles of the Revised Code, to which my right hon. Friend has just alluded, shall be now carried out. Whether the examination of children shall be conducted according to age, or any other mode of classification; in what proportions the grant shall be distributed with reference to the different subjects of examination; and what securities shall be taken to provide for the efficient discipline and religious teaching of the schools, are, in my opinion, matters of detail which can only be tested by experience, and can be modified as they may be found hereafter to work well or ill. Neither is it my intention to enter into that wider question touched on by the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwich (Sir J. Pakington), as to whether the voluntary or compulsory system of education is, in the abstract, most desirable to be adopted. For my own part, I have never seen reason to change the opinion which I formed long ago on this question, that, considering the genius of the people for whom we are called on to legislate, and considering that the ground of education has already been occupied chiefly by the voluntary party, it would be almost impossible, if not most dangerous, to attempt any other than a compromise between the two systems. Such a compromise has hitherto in a great measure been adopted, in assisting voluntary efforts by State grants on the denominational principle, and so far creating a kind of public rate in aid of voluntary efforts. I always looked on this system of grants from the Committee of Privy Council as a substitute for the system of compulsory rates, and it is in order to obtain the assistance of the Committee in seeing it fairly and impartially applied and distributed, as it was meant to be, over the whole country, and not over a privileged part of it, that I venture to come forward on this occasion. The question I seek to raise is a very simple one. The cause I venture to advocate is freedom of trade between managers of schools and schoolmasters, in opposition to Government protection—the principle of open competition with reference to results, in opposition to departmental authority— in other words, the question whether the funds intrusted to the department for the education of the country are to be administered impartially, and with reference only to the work satisfactorily performed, or in accordance with the capricious rules which they may from time to time think proper to adopt. If I needed any other apology for bringing this subject before your notice, it would be furnished by a letter which I had the pleasure of receiving this morning, and which, with your permission, I will read, from a lady well known to be one of the most zealous and benevolent persons interested in the question of education. Miss Carpenter's name is widely known as a great promoter of ragged schools, and carries great weight on this important subject. She says— Sir,—Having learnt that you have given notice of a Motion to the effect that schools with masters who are not certificated may, if otherwise complying with the conditions of the grant in other respects, have aid, as other schools, will you permit me to say how important such an alteration would be in extending the benefits of the grant to the portion of the population which most requires it, instead of chiefly extending it, as at present, to those who are in a position to help themselves? This would he in strict accordance with the professed principle of the Code, to help according to results and to voluntary effort. You are aware that efforts have been made by many to obtain help for ragged and other poor schools, and I have laid before several Members suggestions whereby facilities for obtaining certificates may be extended. Your Resolution would be far better, and is based on an important principle. Wishing you every success, I remain, Sir, yours sincerely, MARY CARPENTER. Perhaps I should do better to clear the ground of this discussion by asking the House to consider what is the real relation between the public and the Committee of Privy Council with reference to these grants of public money. I listened in the course of the previous debate to remarks made by my right hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge, and my hon. Friend if I may be allowed to call him so—the Member for Bradford, to: the effect that the provisions of the Revised Code amount to a breach of partnership and to a breach of contract between the Government and the managers of schools. On the other hand, I believe the ground taken by the Privy Council is that the managers of schools who receive these Government grants are in fact their agents, and nothing more than servants, carrying out the intentions of the Government with reference to the education of the country. Perhaps I may be allowed to say that both these sides, in my opinion, take somewhat too high ground. For my own part, should I ever as a manager of a school be so fortunate as to obtain Government assistance, the last thing I should dream of would be that by the fact of obtaining that assistance I had involved them in any partnership with me. I do not pretend to make any such claim on them. On the other hand, if I could only get assistance on condition of acknowledging myself their agent, most assuredly I should decline to do it. I think the Commission, whose Report is familiar to hon. Members, took a much more just and correct view of the relationship between the Government and the public. With the permission of the Committee I will refresh their memories by reading it. The Commissioners say— The general nature of the administration of the Privy Council grants may be most easily understood by viewing the Committee of Council for Education in the light of a society, like the National or British and Foreign School Society, assisting local efforts to promote education without reference to the religious denominations by which they may be made, but supported by general taxation instead of voluntary contributions. The sphere of the operations of the Committee has been greatly enlarged since its first establishment, and the objects which it contemplates have been multiplied in number, but the principles of its administration have remained unchanged. Certainly, in that statement there is no thing which can be construed either into admission of a principle of partnership on the one hand, or agency on the other, as between the Committee of Privy Council and the public who receive the grants, Supposing, then, that this money, administered by the Committee of Privy Council, is, as the Commissioners put it, public money, given by the State as a bounty on voluntary efforts for education, let me ask the Committee what would be said in an analogous case which I will put, borrowing an illustration from my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxfordshire:—If the Government for some good reason were to give a bounty on the production of razors and knives, and were to attach to it such conditions as these—that none but smiths certificated by the Government should be allowed to work; that the forges, anvils, hammers, and other implements employed should be of certain sizes, and none other should be admitted; suppose, under such circumstances, that some independent person came to the Government with a sample of knives and razors of very superior quality, and said to them, "I have turned out from my workshop as good knives and razors, articles of as fine a temper, that will cut as well, and that are as fit for use as any of those which you turn out from your certificated establishments; I challenge inspection; I am willing to be judged by results, and ask you to put them to the trial." And suppose the Government were to say, "No, unless you employ the persons whom we certificate; unless you use forges, anvils, and hammers of certain dimensions, you are not fit to compete, and we will not not look at your knives and razors;" what would the master cutler of Sheffield say to that? And what is the mind of a child but an instrument given to him by Providence to cut through the difficulties of life? And for what purpose are children sent to school but to have their wits sharpened; and what are schools but places where their intellects are tempered; blunted or sharpened, according to the skill and ability, or to the want of skill and ability on the part of the teacher? What right, then, have you to prescribe arbitrary and artificial restrictions, or to require the employment of particular means, provided that the results are satisfactory and able to stand the test of inspection?

I wish to guard myself against being misunderstood on one important point. I know the risk I run in bringing forward a question of this kind. I shall be told that I am the enemy of all the certificated masters and pupil-teachers throughout the country. I wish it to be distinctly under- stood that I do not stand here to prefer any bill of indictment against those two classes of persons; and if I am obliged to quote the opinion of others about them, I do so in self-defence. We are told that these people are indispensable to education, and that no school shall receive a farthing unless it employs them. Surely, then, we are entitled to ascertain what opinions competent judges, who are perfectly independent, have formed as to their efficiency and importance. All I say is, let those who wish to employ or feel the necessity of employing these certificated masters or pupil-teachers continue to employ them. I do not wish to deprive the masters or teachers of a single advantage which the present system of the Revised Code confers upon them, short of that monoply of instruction by which they deprive me and other managers of unassisted schools of our fair share of the public money. For let this be continually borne in mind:—The certificated masters and pupil-teachers, and those who employ them, have been well represented in this House. The 7,000 schools and 900,000 scholars with which they are connected have been fully represented in this House. I stand here to represent the 1,200,000 scholars, and the 15,000 or 16,000 schools which have not been represented or heard in this place, who really have not had a word to say about the Revised Code, and who now, for the first time since the establishment of a system of public grants, have a chance of obtaining that to which I contend they are fairly entitled. If I am asked why I or some other person has not mooted this question before, the answer is very simple. So long as public grants were made without any attempt to ascertain results; so long as no questions were asked, except as to the size of the school and the grade of the master who was employed in it, I admit that the Government were perfectly right to use the only means at their command for obtaining efficient schoolmasters and properly instructed teachers. But they have themselves entirely changed the state of the question. They have proposed to test the value of their system by its results; and by so doing they have thrown open the whole matter to public competition, and have destroyed whatever right they may previously have had to enforce this exclusive system of Government control. Let me quote the words of my right hon. Friend the Vice President of the Privy Council, in which he attempted to anticipate my arguments by contending for the necessity of certificated masters. He said— If we were logical and consistent, which I admit we are not, we should lay down no rules as to the sort of teachers that should be employed in schools. We should leave it to the managers to select such machinery as they thought proper; and if the children passed the examination, that would be enough for us. That remark does not, in my view, extend to certificated teachers, because we have the same right to require that there should be a certificated teacher, and to limit our patronage to him, as the public has to require that a man shall be regularly educated before he is allowed to practise as a lawyer or a physician. But as to the subordinate machinery, for which the managers engage to pay, we may, I think, be accused of inconsistency if we require it to be of any particular kind. Knowing perfectly well how logical is the mind of my right hon. Friend, I am sure that it must give him extreme pain to be obliged to carry out any system which he deems to be illogical or inconsistent with the principles which he has laid down, and I think I can show that this analogy with reference to medical men and lawyers does not hold good. It must be remembered that doctors and lawyers can recover their bills whether or not their patients or clients get well or gain their suits. Results are not in their case made the tests of efficiency. If a patient dies, or a client loses his cause, the doctor or lawyer is still paid, and therefore there may be some ground for State interference to compel these men to give their clients or patients a chance of getting what they pay them for by securing the best education and preventing those who are not licensed from practising. But if you threw open the legal or medical profession, and established the principle of "no cure no pay," as you profess to do now with regard to schools, I do not see what right you would have to require degrees or any other test of the proficiency of the gentlemen who set up as doctors or lawyers. Therefore I think that the right hon. Gentleman's argument breaks down. I should like to quote the opinion of the Commissioners themselves with regard to this question of certificated masters and pupil-teachers. I find among the Inspectors a remarkable concurrence in the opinion that the efficiency of certificated masters is just about in an inverse ratio to their degrees. The Commissioners say — The position of the teachers in the class list, though it regulates to some extent their salaries, is a doubtful indication of their comparative professional value. This is ascertained by the observation of the Inspectors of schools in all parts of the country, and was, of course, more apparent in the infancy of the system, when the certificates had reference solely to the examination, than it is at present, when they are not finally settled till the efficiency of the teacher has been tested by two years' school-keeping. In the year 1851 Mr. Cook reported that some of the best teachers in his district had either no certificate or a low one; and that others who were not remarkable for efficiency had comparatively high certificates. In his report for 1853 Mr. Brookfield said, 'It is an embarrassing, but undoubted truth, that of the good schools in my district under certificates the proportion is by no means in favour of those of the higher class. The number, of course, is not, because the number of the high certificates is comparatively small; but even allowing for this, the proportion of good schools still remains decidedly in favour of the lower class certificates.' Speaking of Wales, Mr. Longueville Jones observes, 'Managers state that they do not find the class of the certificate of merit to be any sure index of the value of its holder as a schoolmaster. In the justice of this I altogether concur. I never form my own opinion of a master with any but the slightest reference to his certificate.… I might also go further, and say that according to my own experience the good schoolmasters do not hold high certificates; certainly the best schoolmasters in Wales either bold none, or else those of the third class.' In 1856, Mr. Cook, while assuming the superiority of trained over untrained teachers, qualifies his observations as follows:— 'I am far from saying that the most highly educated persons are the best teachers, or that their efficiency always corresponds to their position in the class list, or that teachers at least equal to the generality of these certificated masters are not to be found among those who have not presented themselves for examination.' Mr. Cook in 1853 thus summed up the advantages of employing pupil-teachers— They often conduct lessons in reading, arithmetic, and writing from copies and dictation better than many adult teachers of ordinary ability;" while "many of them can teach and examine a large class in grammar, geography, and English history, and the subject-matter of books of general information, with less waste of time and greater facility of illustration than the generality of untrained masters." "Their faults," he observes, "are that they are often too pedantic and too mechanical, and too much lost in the routine of school work," and "that they are apt to fall into the faults of meagreness, dryness, and emptiness, or the opposite and not less mischievous evils of presumption and ostentation. I read these passages to show that the argument with respect to pupil-teachers is not all on one side. They have a great number of friends in this House, and I must bear the odium of being supposed to be not so friendly to them. As far as I am concerned, I have no personal objection to these masters and teachers; but when reports are placed in my hands for my instruction I cannot shut my eyes to them, and swallow the pupil-teachers as a class, without making any inquiry as to the opinion of others upon the subject. I hold in my hand a report, published in the year 1858, by the Rev. W. Frazer, who was employed by some influential gentlemen in Scotland to make an inquiry into the state of education throughout the whole country. The report is extremely ably drawn up, and dwells particularly upon the merits and demerits of the pupil-teacher system. After quoting the Parliamentary Report showing how very large a proportion of the pupil-teachers never enter fully into the profession of teaching, but leave it for others as soon as they can, Mr. Frazer gives his experience of the value of pupil-teachers, and he comes to this conclusion— Educationally viewed, it is a low and unsatisfactory expedient. Intellectually, the general education must suffer. Children only thirteen years of age are called from their proper work, learning, and apprenticed to teach. The time which should be spent in their own intellectual culture and equipment is spent on others, and thus their own range of improvement must be narrowed. The taught also suffer. Pupil-teachers, at least during the first two or three years of their apprenticeship, can deal only with the mechanical in education, with form and routine, such as spelling, grammar, geography, and the simple rules of arithmetic. In this, and in preserving order, they have their value. They often attain great expertness in the outer forms of questioning; but it is the expertness of jugglery, the tossing backwards and forwards of the same truths, the shaking into many kaleidoscopic combinations of the same well-known facts. But as for awakening thought, stimulating and directing inquiry, and evolving exercised energies of intellect, it is never dreamed of nor attempted. Morally, the pupil-teacher can have little power. Seriousness and dignity of look would be regarded at his age as unnatural, or as hypocrisy. What amiability of disposition and what high purposes can he foster? Reflexly, the system does mischief, in fostering in the young boy-teacher petulance, pride, impatience of restraint, and other qualities ill fitting him for his office. Many are marked by great excellence of character, and love their work, but the tendencies are often too painfully manifest. For hours daily the finest mechanism we know on earth—the human spirit, with all its intellectual and moral energies and capabilities—is left to be handled or tossed about by inexperienced teachers. The moral influence is, to say the least, merely negative when it should be positive. And he goes on to quote, in a passage almost too long for the patience of the Committee, the still more serious evils of the system viewed in its religious aspect. He says— The pupil-teacher cannot throw around the classes with which he is daily so long in contact that well-known but undefinable power expressed by 'life,' 'tone,' 'atmosphere,' which often so im- perceptibly but so effectively genializes, gladdens, and moulds the young heart and its history. I merely quote these passages to show that among gentlemen who have made it their business to examine this subject very carefully, and who, as far as I know, are perfectly fair and impartial judges, there is by no means a unanimity of opinion as to the propriety of employing these pupil-teachers at all. As I said before, it is no business of mine to quarrel with them. I do not ask for any diminution of their privileges; I am quite willing that everybody who likes them should employ them; all I ask is that those who do not wish to have them may not be compelled to have them. Now, in the published Report, for which we are indebted to my hon. Friend the Member for Hertfordshire—I may call it the book of lamentations and grievances—there is a letter from a schoolmaster named Halle to the Secretary of the Committee of Privy Council which is so curious that I think I may venture to read it. It is dated "Jesus Chapel National School, Enfield, September 27, 1861," and says— Sir,—Having read with great satisfaction of the alterations that have been made in respect to grants to public schools, I shall feel greatly obliged if you will let me know where I can obtain the minutes of the alterations, as I think, from what I have seen of the observations upon them, a more just and equitable method could not have been devised, nor anything more disgraceful than the former minutes, which gave the public money to those schoolmasters and mistresses who were in possession of good salaries and pupil-teachers to do their work, and withheld both from those with small salaries; e. g., I and my wife have conducted this school (a mixed one, of 60 scholars) for the last 10¼ years, for £50 a year and house; i. e., £25 salary and £25 children's payments. I have been teaching more than 20 years, during which time I have taught more than 2,000 children the alphabet, to read, write, and to cast accounts, in schools varying from 211 to 60 scholars, during which time I have been well spoken of as a teacher, lecturer, surveyor, mathematician, and musician, but have been very unsuccessful in obtaining any assistance from the Government in any shape, never having received one farthing from the grant. I have been unsuccessful, after three trials, for a certificate, although I have taken up the whole of the papers, and answered as many of the questions as time would permit. It is not for the want of seeking. I am surrounded by four National schools, conducted by first-class certificated masters, assisted by three or four pupil-teachers each, who have been drawing large sums of money annually from the Government (£90 to £100), and yet the parents will rather send their children a mile or two further to me, and pay double the sum than those who live in the district do, because they consider their children are better taught by a master or mistress than by a pupil-teacher; and, judging from the children which have come to me from these schools, and the accounts which the children give me of the methods adopted, I consider a more wasteful method was never pursued. I have found, from inquiries, that out of all the pupil-teachers trained in the neighbourhood very few have become masters or mistresses; and why? In the first place, they are deterred by the severe examinations they have to undergo (as if any examination could be too severe for a schoolmaster; a certificate should certify what a teacher does know, much or little, as nearly as possible); secondly, by the many masters and mistresses they have to please; and, thirdly, the disgracefully low salaries which they get for their services. Consequently, as soon as they obtain a good education, they get situations as clerks or Dissenting Ministers; not that they prefer Dissent, but because they cannot so easily enter the Established Church. It has been said that pupil-teachers are an assistance to the master; I have always considered them a curse to the pupils, for what difference is there between the class that servantgirlism and flunkeyism spring from and the class from whence pupil-teachers are drawn? I contend that very little good will be done towards educating the people by such a class; that instead of making teachers of the lowest of the people they should be taken from the middle classes. Ask the Inspectors— ask yourself—if it be possible, in a general way, to make a gentleman or lady of an agricultural labourer's son; what he can know of the usages of polite society; how he will instruct his pupils to behave at table, if they should become servants; whether they will not attempt to veil their ignorance before their scholars by the assumption of arrogance, and before their superiors by assuming humility. That is the opinion of the schoolmaster of an unassisted school about pupil-teachers. And if I may be allowed without the charge of egotism to do so, I will mention the case of a school in my own neighbourhood, of which I am myself the manager. I built the school originally for sixty or seventy children; and I was fortunate enough to obtain the services of a highly skilful and excellent teacher, a trained master, but not certificated. The number of scholars has risen from sixty or seventy to a hundred and forty—a greater number, I am bound to say, than the school can accommodate, but children walk three miles to attend that school who live in a neighbouring parish where there is a school with a certificated master and in receipt of the grant. Do you think these children would come to that school if their parents did not think the education it gives was better than that given in the assisted school? I have always found that the parents of the children, considering their ignorance, are extraordinarily good judges of the fitness of a schoolmaster or schoolmistress; and I am satisfied they would hot send their children to my school unless they were convinced that the education to be had there was superior to that imparted in the other. It has been stated over and over again—and I need not weary the Committee by repeating such a well-known fact —that a great proportion; indeed, as the right hon. Baronet the Member for Droitwitch (Sir J. Pakington) said, the larger proportion, of children under instruction, namely, 1,200,000 as compared with 900,000, and also the managers who conduct their education, are precluded from receiving any share of the grant. I shall quote a letter from the Rev. Mr. Steere, contained in a work published by Mr. Garfit, which I think ought to be in the possession of every hon. Member, for it may really be termed a "handy-book" on the subject of education, showing the impossibility of providing assistance for these schools if the condition of employing certificated masters is required. Mr. Steere says— It is notorious that the great mass of the poorest schools cannot afford to engage a certificated teacher. The consequence of this is, that in very extensive districts the clergy have the whole burden of supporting the schools cast upon them, while in richer places the Government is paying a large part of the expenses. There seems to be no real difficulty in the way of a general scheme of making grants to all schools, in proportion to their numbers, upon condition only that the instruction is of a fairly good and effective character. I ask why, if I keep up an effective school in my village, I am not as much entitled to help as some neighbour whose school is worse conducted, but who has the fortune to possess a certificated master? I know that a large portion of your readers are working unassisted schools at great pecuniary loss, but with very good educational success. I had a letter a few days ago from a clergyman in Norfolk, who writes to me in the following terms:— Sir,—I understand that it is your intention to bring forward a Motion with reference to schools; that, provided the scholars pass a good examination, it shall not be necessary to have a certificated master in order to obtain a grant from the Privy Council. I enclose reports just received respecting my schools. You will see that the results are attained, but I can obtain no grant, because neither my master nor mistresses are certificated. And this is the Report which he encloses— Aylsham School, mixed—Religious knowledge is very good in both schools. [This I think would satisfy my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxfordshire.] Discipline is good, especially in the boys' school. Writing is good, especially in the boys' school. Reading is good in the girls' school, and fair in the boys' school. Arithmetic is weaker than the ether work in both schools. Infants— The tone and order of this school has greatly improved under a new mistress. The school is now very useful and efficient in preparing children for the boys' and girls' schools. Now, I will ask the Committee, do they not think that gentleman has a right to complain that he should not only be called upon, as he probably is, to pay largely out of his scanty income for the support of his school, without getting a farthing from the Government; but should also be compelled to contribute as a tax-payer to assist schools and managers who are in far more prosperous circumstances? If the Committee would bear with me for a moment, I should like to read an extract from the letter of a gentleman who, if any person is specially qualified by long experience as a secretary in the Privy Council Office to speak with more authority on this subject than any one else, seems to me to be that person—I mean Mr. Harry Chester, who, in a letter published the other day in The Times, wrote as follows:— The certification of schoolmasters and schoolmistresses, and the annexation of a stipend to the certificate, has a powerful effect in raising their status, and improving the schools; but such inducements are now but little, if at all, required, and the evils of the system begin to preponderate over its advantages. It is an evil for a Government to be permanently vested with the power of granting degrees. It would be felt to be grossly unconstitutional and dangerous for the Government to grant certificates to the teachers of schools for the upper and middle classes. Why, then, should it continue to grant certificates to the teachers of schools for the lower classes, now that the necessity for such an abnormal exercise of its authority has passed away? The power of testing and certificating the capacity to teach should be lodged somewhere; but why not in some depository more consonant with the genius of our institutions than a Government office? … It is an evil to mark off the elementary teacher from all other teachers as the stipendiary certificate of the Government. It is also an evil to teach him to look on himself as a Government official, depending on a Government office for his character and for a considerable portion of his emoluments, to make him serve two masters—one, the office in Downing Street, the other his committee of management. It is a great evil to invest the certificated teachers with their peculiar privileges, and to subject them to their peculiar restrictions. They have a monopoly of the privilege of teaching under the patronage of the Government, and they are subject to restrictions as to whom they shall teach, what they shall teach, where and when they shall teach, and what they shall not do when they are not teaching. Here are monopoly, privilege, protection, Government interference, all at variance with the laws of political economy, all therefore injurious to the teachers and to the taught. Is it not time to begin to simplify this system—to cease to interfere between the managers of schools and their servants the teachers, to relieve the latter from all the restrictions but those which are imposed on them by their employers, to allow the stipends to depend on the natural operation of the teachers' market—in a word, to let things find their natural level I do not see how this question could possibly be stated in plainer or more decisive language than that of the gentleman whose letter I have just cited. If the Committee will permit me, I will now quote a few instances to show the very partial, and, I think, unequal and unsatisfactory manner in which the grant is at present administered. We are indebted to my right hon. Friend the Member for Oxford-shire (Mr. Henley) for a voluminous report exhibiting the distribution of the grant during the year 1860, and specifying the names of the parishes and places which obtained a portion of it; and if any one takes the trouble to analyse these figures, he will be rather amused at the conclusion to which they will lead him. I mentioned lately, speaking at a meeting in my own county, that it appeared to be specially favoured by the Committee of Privy Council. The county of Berks, with a population of 176,000, received £3,867 of the education grant; the town of Reading, with 23,000 inhabitants, obtained £905; Windsor, with 10,000 inhabitants, received £722; while Newbury, with 7,000 inhabitants, received only £96. Wokingham, with a population of 4,000. has nothing, not because there is no school there, but because there is none of the description especially patronized by the Privy Council. Bedfordshire, with a population of 136,000, received, in 1860, £1,945, of which Bedford town, with a population of 13,000, got nothing; while Woburn, with 2,050 inhabitants and a British and Foreign Society's school, got £53. Buckinghamshire, with a population of 166,000, got £1,243; the town of Buckingham, with a population of 4,000, getting £93; Woburn Sands, a place of which I cannot find any description in any document, getting £56—the two Woburns in Bucks and Bedfordshire, together, having £119. Cambridgeshire, with a population of 176,000, got £3,074, of which the town of Cambridge, with its 26,000 inhabitants, received £1,194, or nearly one-half of the whole grant. Cheshire, with a population of 450,000, obtained the enormous sum of £12,699, of which Birkenhead received £848. Chester, with 31,000 inhabitants, got £630, or less than Windsor. Stockport, with a population of 54,000, got £622. Sussex, with 340,000 inhabitants, obtained £4,478, of which Brighton, with 87,000 inhabitants, got only £312, while Hastings received £370. But the most curious results are in Wiltshire. I have not added up all the figures relating to that county, but I believe that while Calne, with a population of 6,000, got £315, Chippenham, with 5,000, got only £18. Wilton, with its 8,600 inhabitants, got £230; while some fortunate little place called Castle Combe, with 560 inhabitants, got £116; and Cricklade, with 1,900, had only £8. Rutland, with a population of 22,000, received £205; Oxford City, with 27,000, had £595—rather less than half the amount granted to Cambridge. Why there should be such a difference between the allowance to the sister University towns I can form no notion. York city, with a population of 45,000, got £2,045; Scarborough, with 20,000, £198; and Bradford, with 106,000, had £2,197. I quote these as samples taken casually from the returns just to illustrate the exceedingly partial and unequal distribution of these money grants. I do not think it can be at all satisfactory to the public that such a state of things should be allowed to continue. It does not represent any true principle, because we shall probably be told that the principle acted upon is, Aide-toi et Ciel t'aidera; and that "Whosoever hath, to him shall be given." But I think that another and a juster interpretation may be placed upon that text. We have it proved as an undoubted fact that so far from these unassisted districts, which receive no aid from the State, doing nothing for themselves, there are no less than 15,000 schools now existing which do not receive one farthing of the public money; and I contend that there should be some attempt on the part of the Government to distribute this money more fairly and impartially. I may be met by objections on the score of economy and efficiency. As to efficiency, I think I can best deal with that point by stating the plan which I would recommend the Government to adopt in order to give effect to the Resolution which I am about to propose. Supposing that I want my school to receive Government assistance, it would be my business to write a letter to the Privy Council requesting that an Inspector might be sent down. Upon the report of that Inspector would depend whether the school would receive assistance or not. If he finds the school badly built, insufficiently drained, ill ventilated, or over-crowded, or open to any of the objections which it is the duty of the Government to prevent, then I could have no claim to any share of the public money. Again, if the children should fail to pass the required examination, my claim would fall to the ground. But if the children succeeded in passing the examination, and my school be as well conducted in all respects as the schools favoured by the Government, on what ground could I be refused a grant? But is it a question of expense? I do not think that is so formidable an objection as some hon. Members appear to consider. If the Committee will bear in mind what I quoted just now, the grant of £722 to Windsor with a population of 10,000, I think all will agree that that is an excessive amount, and I believe it is the largest amount given in proportion to population in any place. But suppose the grant was £500 to 10,000, or five per cent upon the population, which I think would be much above what would be required throughout the country, the total Vote for England, with 20,000,000 of people, would be £1,000,000. Would that be an excessive grant? It amounts now nearly to that sum, with all the disadvantages of our imperfect system, and liable to all the objections which I have mentioned; whereas the utmost I anticipate, supposing the system be put upon a fair and equal footing, would be a grant of £1,000,000; or equal to five per cent upon the population of England, which would be the outside expenditure. I fear that I have trespassed too long upon the Committee. I do not know that I could add additional weight to the arguments I have used. The whole question lies in a nutshell, and, although I might expand the argument, I should fail to make it clearer. I shall therefore confine myself to moving the Resolution of which I have given notice, and which I trust will receive the impartial consideration of the Committee, believing as I do that it is the one great question which remains to be decided upon the subject of education, and that if this Resolution be not carried, something in its spirit, and having the same object, must soon be adopted to make it possible to continue these Government grants. The hon. Member concluded by moving— That to require the employment of Certificated Masters and Pupil Teachers by Managers of Schools, as an indispensable condition of their participation in the Parliamentary Grant, is inexpedient and inconsistent with the principle of payment for results which forms the basis of the Revised Code.


seconded the Resolution moved by the hon. Member for Berkshire, but proposed a somewhat different mode of carrying it out. The weakest point in the Revised Code was the absence of any provision for the poor schools, which were now excluded from the grant, in consequence of being unable to comply with the requirements of the Privy Council by engaging trained masters at high salaries. No settlement of this question could be either satisfactory or permanent which did not throw open the public grant to all schools which were really in need, and which could produce satisfactory results. He therefore suggested that the capitation grant of 8s., now offered for scholars who had attended 200 times in the previous twelve months and who could pass a satisfactory examination in reading, writing, and arithmetic, should not be confined to schools where certificated masters and pupil teachers were employed, but should be offered to all public schools for the poor which could obtain a favourable report from the Government Inspectors of their discipline, teaching, buildings, and other conditions required by the Revised Code. The capitation grant of 4s. per scholar in average attendance throughout the year, he suggested should be confined to those schools where certificated masters were employed. The financial result of this scheme would be as follows:—From the Estimates for the coming year now before the House it appeared that the whole grant for the purposes of education amounted to £842,000. From this he would deduct the sums appropriated to building, training schools, inspection and establishment, and some minor items, none of which would be affected by the alteration he proposed. After making these deductions there would remain £550,000, which represented the three great heads of augmentation of masters' salaries, payment of pupil-teachers, and capitation grants (according to the old system). The whole of these would under the Revised Code be replaced by the proposed capitation grants of 4s. and 8s. respectively. He had taken some pains to ascertain the proportion which these new grants would bear to those under the old Code. He had received returns from schools under very different circumstances; from small rural schools, large schools in towns, manufacturing and mining schools; and on the average it was found that the Revised Code now proposed to the House would effect a reduction of 20 per cent in the amount received by those schools from the public grant. This result has been obtained by assuming that the whole of the children who had attended 200 times in the year would pass a favourable examination and obtain the whole 8s. per head. If this reduction of 20 per cent should be the general result over the whole country, the figures would then stand as follows:— The £550,000 which now represented the amount to be voted for the purposes to be hereafter supplied by the new capitation grant must be reduced by 20 per cent, or £110,000, and would then be £440,000. But by his plan the 4s. capitation grant would be confined to schools having trained masters, and would therefore not be liable to increase in consequence of extending the 8s. capitation grant to other schools. It was true that the 4s. capitation grant was to be given for scholars in average attendance, and the 8s. grant to those who attend 200 times; but the difference between the two was not considerable, and he would assume, for the purpose of this calculation, that they were identical. The £440,000 to be voted for the capitation grants would therefore have to be divided into two portions, of which the smaller one, amounting to one-third (£146,666), would represent the 4s. capitation grant, and the larger one, amounting to two-thirds (£293,332), would represent the 8s. capitation grant. This amount of £293,000 represents the capitation grant of 8s. as applicable to the 1,000,000 of children contained in the schools now under inspection, and receiving grants. By the Report of the Education Commissioners, there are 1,600,000 children in the public schools for the poor in England and Wales. Consequently, by a simple rule-of-three sum, it would be found that if the capitation grant of 8s. when applied to schools containing 1,000,000 children required £293,000, the same grant applied to 600,000 more children would require £176,000 more money; and the net result of the calculation would be, that if the whole of the unassisted public schools for the poor were suddenly enabled to share in the grant, and could show equally good results with the schools now under inspection, the maximum addition to the grant would be £176,000 per annum. It must be borne in mind, however, that the unassisted schools of the class under consideration are above 15,000 in number; that many of them are endowed schools, great numbers have bad buildings and inefficient teaching, and would be utterly unable to comply with the conditions on which alone any portion of the public money is given. It seems, therefore, not an unfair supposition that the increase in the Vote resulting from throwing open the 8s. capitation grant to all public schools for the poor, would not for some years exceed the diminution in the grant to the schools now under inspection, arising from the working out of the Revised Code when compared with the old system. At all events, the net increase would be so small as not to be alarming even to the most sensitive Chancellor of the Exchequer. He must now look at the question in a different point of view; namely, in its bearing on the Training School system. The establishment of training schools had been of great service to the cause of education. Those whose recollection enabled them to recall the state of this question twenty-five years ago would remember the great dearth of schoolmasters which then existed; and although the requirements of managers of schools in those days were very moderate, it was extremely difficult to meet with schoolmasters who knew anything of their business. The Report of the Education Commissioners speaks very decidedly on this subject. Not only do they give their own impressions, but they quote the words of several of the Assistant Commissioners, and show that many witnesses had been examined by them, and they dismiss the question with the brief but significant announcement, that opinions were all but unanimous as to the superiority of trained over untrained masters. These establishments, however, could not be maintained in a state of complete efficiency without liberal aid from the public grant. He had for many years been one of the committee of management of a large training college in the North of England, and until he had the honour of a seat in that House he took an active part in its affairs. Until the Committee of Council commenced its present system of Queen's Scholarships, the training college in question, like most others, laboured under considerable financial difficulties. Twice he had been requested by his colleagues to examine and report upon the financial position of the college, and its prospects of becoming self-supporting. On each occasion he was obliged to express his decided opinion that there was no reasonable prospect of its becoming able to pay its way, without liberal assistance from the two dioceses with which it was connected. From his own experience, therefore, and the accounts he had heard of similar difficulties in other training colleges, he was convinced that without liberal Government assistance these establishments could not be maintained in an efficient state. There was an impression abroad that the education given to the trained masters was not in all respects suitable to its purpose. He confessed that he shared this impression, that he considered the standard of teaching too high as a preparation for grounding village children in reading, writing, and arithmetic. He might be asked why he and other managers of these schools did not correct the evil. The answer was easy. Training schools were dependent on Government aid for their existence, and must prepare their students for Government examinations. The Government examiners were talented and conscientious men, but they were men of great acquirements, and required too much of the young men. He would quote a few questions from an examination paper set in 1857 to the second year students— What was the position of the Jews in North Africa? How did this influence the Christian dogma? Which of the early heresies may be attributed to the Grecian philosophy as distinguished from the Egyptian? What was the probable source of ascetic doctrines? Give an account of the Essenes and character of the sects which sprang out of the ascetic idea. That was of course an extreme case; but still the possibility of such questions being asked of young men who were being trained to instruct the poor showed that education in the training schools could not be exactly what it should be. The best counterpoise which could be devised was to be found in the action of public opinion, and in gradually subjecting the trained masters to the natural law of supply and demand. At the same time, if young men were induced to bind themselves for five years as pupil-teachers, and then pass two years in training schools, they ought to have some advantage and protection, at any rate for some years to come. He therefore would propose that the 4s. capitation grant should be confined to the schools which had trained masters, while the 8s. for results should be given to results wherever they were to be found.


said, he had seldom listened to a speech with more disappointment and regret than he had done to the speech of the hon. Member for Berkshire. When he saw the Resolution his hon. Friend had placed on the paper, he was anxious to support it; but really the speech of his hon. Friend was so opposed to much that he felt on the subject that he was in some difficulty as to the course he should pursue. At all events, it was impossible he could follow his hon. Friend into the lobby as he originally intended, without stating the reasons that induced him to support his Resolution. His hon. Friend had rested his proposition, upon an attack on the present body of certificated masters and pupil-teachers. Now, there was no body of men to whom the country owed a deeper debt of gratitude than to the certificated schoolmasters and pupil-teachers. They had had a difficult task to perform, and, on the whole, they had performed it to admiration. Taking the testimony borne by the Report of the Commissioners, they might fairly say that no body of men had rendered greater services to the present generation than the certificated masters. He was sorry to hear his hon. Friend raking up stories and reading letters from unassisted schoolmasters tending to throw a sort of odium and bring into contempt so valuable a body of men. Nor could he agree with the hon. Member for Whitby (Mr. Thompson) that the questions put to the students in the training colleges were, upon the whole, not well chosen, although extreme cases might be found. The training colleges and the trained masters were among the greatest blessings of this century. Any one who recollected what schools were before this system was introduced would see what a great advance had been made, and what the country owed to it. On the whole, he was well pleased with the general principle on which the Revised Code was founded. The difficulty he felt with regard to it was that he had feared it would inflict too severe a blow upon the trained masters. But he no longer had that fear. Had he retained it, he should have been prepared to oppose the Code. He believed that, owing to the merits of the teachers themselves, they would, under any system, command their value in the market; the country would never go back to the teachers the trained masters had suspended. But, while he said this, there were other grounds on which he was pre- pared to support the proposition of the hon. Member for Berkshire. Where it was possible for schools to have certificated masters, he believed it was to the advantage of the school to have those masters, assisted by pupil-teachers; and he felt sure that all schools which could employ them would do so; but there were many schools in the country which were not in a position to pay these gentlemen; and in making sacrifices to extend a scheme of education they ought to do their best to secure to the schools in the poor districts the advantage of it. If it turned out that the certificated masters suffered, it could only be to a trifling extent; and he was sure the small amount of suffering they endured should not be allowed to stand in the way of securing the operation of the grant in favour of the poor districts which could not avail themselves of the services of certificated masters, or comply with the expensive requisitions of the Government system. But he believed that the trained masters would not be losers by the change; and what followed? Those poor schools which could not obtain the trained master, because they could not afford it, would become participators in the grant. He wished to make an appeal for the schools established for the poorest and most destitute classes. Unless they could in some way enable them to secure the advantage the assistance of the Government gave, without requiring them to adopt its expensive machinery, they were not doing what these schools were entitled to. There was a disposition on the part of the House to sympathize with the wants of the poorest class of children. But it was met by a considerable difficulty. It was impossible to adopt an exceptional system of legislation for the poorer schools. There was a good deal in this argument. But when they got rid of this and came to a totally different system, he hailed that system, because it offered a ray of light for these unfortunate children. From the continuance of the old system there was nothing to hope for them. But now he thought it would be possible to give them some assistance. They could not at present settle positively what should be done; all they could do was to throw out the suggestion for the consideration of the Government. The Committee was aware that there were schoolmasters who had not gone through a regular course of training, or taken out a certificate, who were allowed to offer their schools for examination and payment by results, if they had satisfied an Inspector in two separate examinations at a year's interval that the school was entitled to assistance. He would ask the right hon. Gentleman to modify that provision. One of the witnesses before the Select Committee last year was a gentleman who had charge of a school at Bristol. He was not a trained master, but he had passed an examination in a satisfactory manner, and he was conducting a large school very successfully. But he was not entitled to aid from the Government, and, according to the new system, his school would not be entitled to receive anything until he should be in charge of it for three years, and until it should be twice inspected. What had happened since? For some reason or other, the gentleman in question had left that school and gone to another. He might have been succeeded by another person in exactly the same position, and in that case the school, although instructed by a competent master for three years, and by another competent master for the same period of time, would not have been brought up for examination or paid by results, because the masters had not passed through a certain amount of training. Moreover, the first master, when he went to another school, would not be allowed to receive any advantage from the experience he had acquired in his original charge. Anything more absurd than such a state of things could hardly be conceived; and he would ask the right hon. Gentleman the Vice President to make a slight modification in one of the articles of his Code, providing that when any master had once satisfied the Inspector he should be entitled to bring up his school for examination and payment by results. If the Committee could come to some general Resolution that the principles of the new Code were something approaching to freedom of trade in the matter of masters, it would take a great step. He would leave it to the Government to work out the details of the system, but he trusted they would not lose that opportunity of putting matters upon such a footing that the poorest and most unfortunate class of children might derive some advantage from the Parliamentary grants. The circumstances of those children were very hard. They were truly the motive power which set the whole of the machinery for education originally in motion. It was because their condition was felt to be so distressing that the educational movement was first commenced, and yet the benefits of the system had been reaped, not by them, but by a class above them. He trusted the Government would now extend to them that which their more fortunate neighbours had already received. It was impossible that such a change as the present could be made without exciting some fear, and without injuring some interests; but, at all events, let the people have the advantages as well as the disadvantages. Let the Government try to make themselves friends among the poor, and among those who were promoting the interests of the poor. The right hon. Gentleman the Vice President would find no difficulty in remedying the evils under which the poorest class of schools were labouring. While recording his Vote in favour of the Resolution moved by the hon. Member for Berkshire, he would do so, not at all as sympathizing with the expressions he had used in regard to the unfitness of the certificated masters, but because he desired to see the system further extended, and the advantages of it given to a class of schools which had hitherto been deprived of them.


said, he wished to say a few words in explanation. He denied that he had made an attack upon the certificated masters. He had merely quoted from the Report of the Commissioners to show that all the Inspectors who had expressed an opinion on the subject had come to the conclusion—and he challenged the hon. Baronet to contradict it—that the efficiency of the certificated teachers was in an inverse ratio to their class or degree; so that, as a general rule, the higher the certificate the worse the master. That statement was not his; it was made by the Commissioners, and was founded upon the reports of the Inspectors.


said, he could not quite understand the explanation of the hon. Gentleman. Why had he made the quotations?


said, that in contending that the certificated masters were not indispensable to the efficiency of schools, he was bound to refer to the highest, and, indeed, the only authority on the subject— namely, the Report of the Commissioners.


said, the proposition of the hon. Gentleman would end in abolishing the training colleges. Now, it seemed to him that those institutions had rendered great services to the country, and must be continued if they wished to maintain the present system of national education. If ragged and poor schools could get equally good masters in a cheaper way, there might be some reason for abolishing the training colleges; but on the other hand, if they could get only an inferior class of teachers, the effect would be to lower the qualifications of masters throughout the whole country. To abolish the training colleges would be to diminish the supply of teachers and to increase their price, and the poorer schools, so far from being assisted, would be damaged by such a change.


said, he wished to call the attention of the Committee to the question actually before them. The right hon. Member (Mr. Adderley) seemed to think that the proposition of the hon. Member for Berkshire was directed against all certificated masters; in fact, that it was an attack upon them, although he (Mr. Deedes) fully appreciated the services of the certificated teachers, but there were many instances in which schools might be conducted in a perfectly satisfactory manner without having recourse to that class of masters. He took his stand on the words of the Resolution, and while recognising to the utmost the value of the certificated masters, he maintained that the schools which were well conducted by un-certificated masters ought not to be ignored, and ought to have an equal claim to the advantages of the grant. He would ask the Committee to show by their vote that they did not wish to restrict the work of education, but to extend its blessings to all.


said, that after the indulgence which had been extended to him already that evening he should not again have trespassed in the debate, but that he had since received a petition from the school Inspectors of the diocese in which the hon. Member for Berkshire and himself lived, and he thought that the Committee ought to be placed in possession of their views. One point dwelt upon by the school Inspectors in that petition was, that whilst it was desirable that the capitation fees should be given to those schools which were under certificated masters, the grants on examination should be extended to all schools were the results were satisfactory. In supporting the Motion before the Committee he desired to state that in so doing he had no wish to do anything in the least disrespectful to the certificated masters. He agreed with his hon. Friend (Mr. Deedes) that they were a most valuable class of men; but he thought that the extension of that system, for the support of which all were taxed, could not be fairly carried out in small places if they insisted upon the employment of such expensive masters. He had himself, when the education Vote was under discussion, over and over again pressed upon the Government that they should make the principle of their grants more elastic. He would tell the Committee how the system acted in Oxon—of course, he looked after his own county; and if every hon. Member took the same course, they would have accurate information. From a return which he had moved for he found that in his county 300 places were represented in the census returns, and among these some sixty schools were assisted, some of the larger places having two or three schools. The population of the whole county was 170,000, of which the assisted places had 70,000 or about forty per cent, whilst, according to the income tax returns the same places represented about thirty per cent of the property of the county. The other 240, where there were no wealthy people to support schools, got nothing, and in many places the small sum which could be obtained was not worth asking for. On the other hand, in many instances where schools were principally supported by clergymen of humble means, a few pounds would be a great help, and the granting of it would heal a sore place. The Inspector in his neighbourhood in 1846 reported that during the previous year he had been very carefully looking after results as well as into the causes from which those results were speedily to fellow, and in doing this he fancied that he had learned to regard their present system, imperfect as it unquestionably was, as one from which at times he had certainly found the most unexpected results. He should conclude what he had to say by expressing the hope that the Motion would be carried, for he believed that it was by some such means as that proposed that they would be able to extend the benefits of their system to those places which stood in need of assistance.


Sir, this is a matter of great importance, and though the notice has been some time on the books of the House, I have no doubt that it has taken many Members somewhat by surprise. I will therefore beg their calm attention while I endeavour to point out to the Committee, what is the effect of that which we are asked to do. The present system of Privy Council grants is that we take what I think are rather exaggerated precautions to see to the application of the money which is intrusted to us. We do not receive the money merely to distribute among a number of schools, but to maintain a certain standard of education and teaching. That has hitherto been the practice of the Privy Council, and we have appropriated certain monies as grants to teachers of different kinds, the only exception being the present capitation grant. In the Revised Code we propose to abolish these appropriations, and so far we propose to weaken the assurance which the public has that the money which has been voted reaches the purposes for which it was intended. We proposed, however, to substitute for the security which was derived from the appropriation of this money another kind of security — that which is called payment by results, on a strict examination of children grouped according to age, the payments depending on that examination, and on nothing else. We thought that was an equivalent for the appropriation for which it was substituted. It has not, however, been the pleasure of the House to allow that system to be carried out. They have expressed their wish that a portion of the grant should be given without examination, and that the portion given on examination should be given on an examination not of that searching kind which would be the result of grouping by age. What I want to point out to the Committee is that payment by results exists no longer in the present Code, and that the proposition we have before us really does away with the former security we had by appropriations to certificated masters, who had been carefully trained and taught for the purpose, and substitutes for it an imperfect security by examination. Now I put it to the Committee whether an examination conducted by an Inspector, in which it is competent for the master to place his pupils in whatever class he pleases for the purpose of being examined, is one which is likely to afford adequate security to the public, the guardians of whose purse we are, that their money will be properly expended? It would be well, in my opinion, that you should also have the collateral security that the school is intrusted to a competent master. Then there is the financial result. You are asked to admit, as far as I can form an estimate, some 654,000 children more to the capitation grant, and to introduce between 15,000 and 16,000 fresh schools. What demands may in consequence be made en the Exchequer it is at present impossible to calculate. They would, no doubt, be very considerable, nor could we hope for any large diminution of the grant until the existing race of pupil-teachers had passed away. I am therefore afraid, looking the matter in the face, we should be incurring an enormously increased expenditure, without those guarantees which Parliament has hitherto deemed to be necessary for the due expenditure of the public money. Then we must bear in mind the manner in which we should be treating the certificated masters. They have before this complained of me as one of their worst enemies; and though it has never been my wish to be such, I have never condescended to say anything to assuage their wrath. I must now, however, observe, that although I am ready to maintain, as I have always done, that they have no vested interests to set up, and that their salaries should be regulated, as in all other cases, by the rules of supply and demand, yet I think they are entitled, at the present moment especially, to receive a good deal of consideration from the House. Indeed, it would, in my opinion, be a proceeding inflicting great hardship at once to destroy the monopoly which they have hitherto enjoyed. Then comes another point which is worthy of serious attention. I cannot for a moment doubt that the result of the adoption of the course which we are asked to take would be the destruction of the training colleges, from which we have hitherto kept our hands, not so much on account of any outcry which might have been raised by the withdrawal from them of a certain amount of Government assistance, as because we felt convinced that such a step would really destroy many of them. I am not now speaking of whether it is advisable to keep up those colleges or not, but I cannot conceive that they can be ultimately supported unless you hold out some object to those by whom they are passed. If you had established an examination of the stringent character which was originally proposed, it might be that the superior training required to fit pupils for the examination might make it worth a man's while to go to a training college; but now that you have determined to adopt a more lax system, it is doubtful whether this would be the case to such an extent as to secure the maintenance of those colleges. I have made these remarks in order to induce the Committee duly to weigh the magnitude of the Resolution to which we are asked to assent. We cannot, I may add, pass it in the form in which it at present stands, because it contains a statement which is inaccurate. It sets forth that "to require the employment of certificated masters and pupil-teachers by managers of schools as an indispensable condition of their participation in the Parliamentary grant is inexpedient." Now we do not require the employment of pupil-teachers as an indispensable condition, and the Resolution cannot, therefore, be very well put in its present shape. I have simply to say in conclusion that I hope the Committee will consider well the step which they are asked to take before giving to it their sanction. I do not say the proposal is one which would strike a fatal blow at education, but I do believe that, for the reasons which I have stated, it would bring about a revolution a great deal more comprehensive in its results than any which the Revised Code as now proposed is calculated to effect.


said, he wished to express his readiness to amend his Resolution, in order to meet the objection raised to its form by his right hon. Friend, by the substitution of the word "or" for "and" immediately preceding the words "pupil-teachers." He must add that he was unable to reconcile the arguments just used by the right hon. Gentleman with the statement which he had made a short time before in reply to the right hon. Gentleman the Member for the University of Cambridge, and wished to know what principle he had retained in his Revised Code if it were not payment for results as ascertained by examination.


said, the Amendment proposed by his hon. Friend would not quite meet the objection to the form of the Resolution as it stood. He should suggest that the words "and pupil-teachers" be omitted, inasmuch as the employment of pupil-teachers was not an indispensable condition of participation in the grant.


intimated his willingness to comply with the suggestion.

Motion made, and Question put, That to require the employment of Certificated Masters by Managers of Schools, as an indispensable condition of their participation in the Parliamentary Grant, is inexpedient, and inconsistent with the principle of payment for results which forms the basis of the Revised Code.

The Committee divided:—Ayes 156; Noes 163: Majority 7.


said, he then rose to propose a Resolution which must be regarded as the antithesis to that which the Committee had just negatived. The effect of the Resolution of the hon. Member for Berkshire was to extend the Government grants downwards, while the object of the Resolution he intended to propose was to contract the range of those grants upwards. In consequence of the advice of a most experienced Member of that House, he had somewhat modified the Resolution of which he had given notice, and the shape in which he intended to move it was as follows:— That, in order to prevent an unnecessary and undue expenditure of public money, it is expedient that the Managers of a School, before receiving Capitation Money from the Committee of the Privy Council on Education, should satisfy the Inspector that the circumstances of the parents on behalf of whose children such capitation grant is claimed are such as to require public assistance for the education of their children. It would be seen that he had omitted the final clause of his Resolution as it originally stood, which was— That the district in which the school is situated is one where a good and efficient school would not be likely to be maintained without aid from the public purse. His object was to prevent-the waste of public money. He should not repeat quotations and figures which he had used upon a former occasion, but briefly state his case, leaving it to the serious consideration of the Committee whether, as guardians of the public purse, they ought not to put an end to an abuse which brought discredit upon the system of national education. The practical working of the present system was to give the greatest amount of public money to the richest schools, instead of affording the greatest assistance towards the education of children belonging to those who supported themselves by manual labour. The amount of the grant ought to bear some proportion to the amount of voluntary subscriptions; but in the case of Faversham, which was only one of many instances, the subscriptions were £38, while the Government grant from the public purse was £382, although the schools possessed endowments and other sources of income which amounted to upwards of £600 a year. He was also cognizant of many cases where schools were receiving amounts which no one would pretend to justify—schools belonging to wealthy proprietors, liberal friends of education, who were perfectly able and willing to support their own schools. In the case of Durham the Assistant Commissioner reported that out of twenty-nine schools in his district receiving grants, not one was entitled to them, and the very managers of the schools themselves expressed their astonishment that money should be wasted by grants being conferred upon them to which they had no title whatever. The reports with respect to Bristol, Plymouth, and in various parts of London, went to establish this point, that the amount of school fees was kept down by the large and unnecessary grants of money; and Mr. Watkins stated positively that that was the result in many cases of the capitation grant, and that it was no benefit, but a positive injury to the poor, by inducing them to take a low view of education, and by destroying that effort on behalf of their children which it was their duty to make. In many schools the children of tradesmen, and of persons well able to pay for education, were educated at the same cost as the children of the humblest of the population. In the mining and manufacturing districts there were many artisans and mechanics earning £3 and£4 a week in wages, and they were only required to pay a pittance of 1d. or 2d. per week for the education of their children. There was another class of schools which possessed large endowments, and there was not the smallest pretence for giving them public aid. It was a great advantage that parents should feel they were making sacrifices for their children; and if they did not, they were apt to hold in light estimation the advantages of education. Another prejudicial effect was the check which employers and wealthy landlords experienced in the natural desire to assist their poorer neighbours. If he were to carry out his own convictions, he should go much further in the way of reducing the public grants; but he now only required managers of schools to eliminate from the schools for which they claimed public money those who they themselves believed did not require it. It was the duty of that House, as guardians of the public purse, seriously to consider his proposal. He concluded by moving his Resolution, as follows:— That, in order to prevent any unnecessary and undue expenditure of public money, it is ex- pedient that Managers of Schools, before receiving capitation grants from the Committee of Council on Education, should satisfy the Inspectors, that the circumstances of the parents in behalf of whose children the capitation grants are claimed are such as require public assistance for the education of their children.


said, he rose to second the Resolution, because he hoped it would have the effect of bringing back national schools to the use for which they were originally intended. The grants were in many instances misappropriated, and the children of the poorer classes were no longer educated in these schools, but were elbowed out of them by the children of the middle classes. The result was that a description of education was given in the schools which was not suited to the requirements of the poorer portion of the population.


said, that the effect of the Resolution of the hon. Gentleman would, if carried, be to impede the business of the schools, to throw an unnecessary onus on the managers, and to change them into private inquisitors. It should be remembered that the Inspectors had at present the power of reporting that a school was attended by a class of children who ought not to be found there, and the Privy Council could then take the necessary steps to remedy that abuse.


said, he should support the Resolution on the ground that the grant went now in a considerable degree to the education of a class of children for whom it was never designed. The House would not have consented to the first grant of £20,000 had it not been distinctly stated that it was for the education of the poor. On that account it appeared to him that the House had shut its eyes to the facts, for it was under the delusion that by granting large sums of money it was promoting the education of the children of the labouring classes. He held in his hand a statement which showed that at a school of considerable reputation near the metroplis, which received large grants from the public purse, the children of a superior class of tradesmen, who could as easily afford to pay 1s. as 3d. a week, were being educated. In Lancashire and Yorkshire, and all the large towns, it was well known that the pupils attending the schools were in a great measure the children of parents well able to pay. In a school with which he was well acquainted, which was attended by 250 scholars, and received no grant from the State, the balance-sheet of last year showed a loss of only £8, and at a little distance was another school which received a large public grant, but which had no more necessity for it than the other.


said, that they were all desirous, he believed, that the children of those parents who supported themselves by manual labour should be those who received the greatest share of benefit from these schools. He could not, however, regard them as objectionable if persons of a higher class were desirous of availing themselves of them. If, for example, in such schools as those to which the hon. Member for Bolton alluded, which persons of a higher class frequented, they were to charge those children 6d. instead of 3d., they would by so doing involve those schools in many difficulties, and place the managers in a position that would prevent the schools being properly carried on. He thought it would be a benefit to the poorer classes that the children of the higher classes should be sent to those schools. It should be recollected that the capitation grant was not paid to the child, but to the persons who conducted the school. If those persons, then, conducted the schools in such a way as to induce the higher class to avail themselves of their advantages, he thought that the community generally would be benefited by the results. The speeches in support of the Resolution almost all went to the root of the matter; and, indeed, the hon. Member for Leeds did not disguise that he wished to place the schools entirely on a voluntary footing. Any person who knew what the schools had been and what they now are could never suppose that the State by its grants had done harm to the cause of education. The children of the poorer classes could not but benefit from intercourse with children in a better position. He believed, however, that the great mass of the scholars were the children of those who supported themselves by manual labour. If the Motion were carried, it would throw upon the managers a duty which it would be impossible for them honestly to discharge unless the hon. Member undertook to fix the limit out of the rate-book or otherwise, by which the managers were to be guided. In many villages the national schools had been brought into such a state of efficiency that the farmers, even if they sent their children to a distance, could not obtain for them so good an education elsewhere. The more respectable children also contributed to the funds of the school and to the income of the master by extra payments for learning drawing and in some cases Latin, which the certificated masters were qualified to teach. These children maintained the tone of the school, and they well earned the capitation grant the school received on their account.


said, that the fourth clause of the Code declared that "the object of the grant is to promote the education of children belonging to the classes who support themselves by manual labour." That was the principle on which the grant was founded. He would recommend his hon. Friend not to press his Motion, because, if it were carried, it would only affirm that which was already the principle of the Department; and if the hon. Member lost his Resolution, it would very much shake the principle in question.

Motion made, and Question, That, in order to prevent an unnecessary and undue expenditure of public money, it is expedient that the Managers of a School, before receiving Capitation Money from the Committee of Privy Council on Education, should satisfy the Inspector that the circumstances of the parents on behalf of whose children such Capitation Grant is claimed are such as to require public assistance for the education of their children, —put, and negatived.


said, he then rose to move his other Resolution— That, although Evening Schools are valuable, as means of confirming and carrying on the education received in Day Schools, it is unnecessary and inexpedient to grant public money for their support, inasmuch as the youth attending them are generally in the receipt of wages, and are well able to pay the small charge for evening instruction, and also because numerous Evening Schools and Classes already exist in connection with the voluntary institutions, and are constantly increasing in number and efficiency.


said, he could not agree to the Resolution. The young persons who attended evening schools very often received exceedingly scanty wages.

Motion made, and Question, That, although Evening Schools are valuable, as means of confirming and carrying on the education received in Day Schools, it is unnecessary and inexpedient to grant public money for their support, inasmuch as the youth attending them are generally in the receipt of wages, and are well able to pay the small charge for evening instruction, and also because numerous Evening Schools and Classes already exist in connection with voluntary institutions, and are constantly increasing in number and efficiency, —put, and negatived.


said, he quite agreed in the principle that unless a strong case was made out no exceptional legislation ought to take place. But a line could be drawn sharply and distinctly between England and Wales. The great majority of children in Wales spoke only Welsh, although the English language was making steady progress, and parents showed an eager desire that their children should be thus instructed. Everywhere, except in the national schools, those children spoke, and were spoken to, in the Welsh language; and so different was that language from the English, that Dutch or German children would make more progress in a year, so as to come up to the requirements of the Committee of Council. He would, therefore, move the following Resolution:— That inasmuch as the great majority of children in Wales are, on their admission to Schools, either altogether ignorant of, or imperfectly acquainted with the English language, through the medium of which they are instructed, and in which their examination is conducted, such examination shall not, in any School in the Principality, be commenced until the children have attained the age of seven years; that group 1 shall include children between seven and eight years of age; group 2 those between eight and ten; group 3 those between ten and twelve; and group 4 those above twelve years of age.


said, it was not in his power to consent to the Amendment. He was happy to say that among a large number of the Welsh people there was a desire that their children should learn English. It would appear that Welsh children were much quicker than English, and he had no doubt that by their superior ability they would make up for the disadvantage under which they laboured in English not being their own language. There was a capitation grant for children between the ages of three and six, and the best thing they could do was to go to school and learn English.


said, he thought that the Resolution was founded upon, truth and justice, and that the right hon. Gentleman was not justified in treating the proposition in the cavalier manner that he had done. The Welsh language was, in his opinion the curse of Wales, and he should be glad to see it replaced by the English; still they must deal with the state of things that existed, and which he believed justified the Committee in adopting the Resolution which had been submitted to it by the hon. Member.

Motion made, and Question put, That, inasmuch as the great majority of Children in Wales are, on their admission to Schools, either altogether ignorant of, or imperfectly acquainted with the English language, through the medium of which they are instructed, and in which their examination is conducted, such examination shall not, in any School in the Principality, be commenced until the Children have attained the age of seven years. The Committee divided:—Ayes 61; Noes 136: Majority 75.


said, he feared some of the divisions that evening had been a great discouragement to the training colleges; but he was afraid the Code in the present shape would have the effect of starving them. He had given notice of a Resolution which he would now beg to propose.

Motion made, and Question proposed, That it is desirable to maintain a premium on the acquisition of the present standard of a second year's training by Schoolmasters undertaking large Schools.


said, he hoped his right hon. Friend would not press his Resolution. He did not see how it would be possible to give a premium to schoolmasters without undoing all they had already done; and if they gave them anything in the shape of a monopoly, it would probably be resented by the managers.


said, he would withdraw his Motion, and would take some other opportunity of having the point discussed.

Motion, by leave, withdrawn.

House resumed.

[No Report.]